Mother's Day wasn't anything special for me this year. Enough time has passed now since Mom died that I don't dwell on it all day any more. It's not far from my mind on Mothers Day, but I'm more able to go on throughout the day than I was before.
I got on a buying tear on Saturday (more on that later), so I went to the booth and worked all day. When I came home, I settled in with an old puzzle book that I found when I was cleaning out the shed. It's one of the series of books put out by Games Magazine that I bought several years ago. Somehow, it got lost in the shuffle, so I never completed many of the puzzles in the book. I found a couple of these in the shed and I have been working through them ever since. It's a nice way to unwind. This was the first time I had gotten into this book since I found it.
I started thumbing through it, looking to see what had been completed and what had not been started, and I got a real surprise. There, interspersed with my unreadable scrawl, was page after page of puzzles done in my mother's neat, even printing. (I've always kind of marveled that she wrote so clearly and nicely, while neither my brother nor I can produce anything resembling legibility.)
At some point in time, during some of her visits with us, she had gotten her hands in this book and worked a few pages. I found puzzles that I had started and she had completed. I found puzzles that I had screwed up and she had corrected. I found pages that she had whipped through on her own.
I get my love of puzzles from Mom. When I was a kid, I would get into her puzzle books all the time. I was always amazed at all the different kinds of puzzles she could do so easily. Somewhere along the line, she started leaving the easy puzzles for me to do, so I would stop trying to do the hard ones and mess them up before she got to them.
For a while, she would cut the easy puzzles out, glue them to a piece of construction paper, put the solution on the back, and let me take them to school, so I would have something to do when I got finished with my other work. My favorites as a child were word searches. Today, I like all kinds of puzzles. My favorite app on my phone is my crossword app, which I use daily to download and work puzzles.
The other night, I could not sleep, so I got up and got out a puzzle book. Keith woke up and looked at me and said "Are you really doing word puzzles in the middle of the night?" I said that I was and he said: "Of course you are." Then he went back to sleep.
I used to get Mom a new puzzle book every year for Christmas. I found the last couple in her stuff after she died. They still had some undone pages, so I took them with me. Finding books of mine that she had worked on made me think of those books of hers.
Last year for Christmas, I got Keith's mother two books of Bible-themed word searches. She had never worked any kind of puzzle before. which was a huge surprise to me. She loved them! A few weeks ago, she finished the last of them, so we ordered her some more. I overheard Keith telling her about me and Mom and our puzzles on the phone the other day.
Looking at those puzzles Sunday night made me smile. I ended up having Mother's Day thoughts about Mom after all, but they were happy ones. In a couple of weeks, it'll be the fourth anniversary of her death. My brother turned 45 last week, which means I'm almost exactly six months away from 50. Where has the time gone?
I think I'll go to the big flea over Memorial Day weekend, since that's one of the things we used to do together as kind of a late Mother's Day celebration. She'd be looking for yard and garden stuff. Sometimes, she would find a puzzle book or two. Maybe I'll find one this year in her honor.