I sat at the kitchen table swinging my legs and watching her. She perched on one foot with the other propped against her leg just below the knee. I could hear the chop of the knife and smell the onions, but all I could see was her back.
Crossing the room and standing beside her, I tried to balance myself in her flamingo stance but almost toppled. She never glanced my way. My face barely cleared the counter so I tiptoed to watch her cut the onion. The knife moved effortlessly always stopping within a hair’s breadth of her hands. I craned my neck to watch her face, but she was finished with the task and moved on.
This is like so many memories of her. I remember her actions. I remember her words. I don’t remember looking her in the face. She was beside me. She was in front of me. She was behind me. I think I was thirty before we ever talked face to face.
More than ten years after she closed her eyes the last time, I cherish those few memories that include those eyes— the crow’s feet of smiles, the shadow of worry, the glimmer of pride.
I try to look people in the eye—especially my children and my grandchildren. I want them to remember my soul, not just my actions or words.