Author: Kim Farrell

The thick foggy sky seemed to press down on her in the empty lot. A tangle of leaves and branches scraped across the vacant space where the kitchen used to be. She could she her mother standing before the hot stove, stirring a large pot of bubbling tomato sauce, as she and her four siblings waiting anxiously around the table—plates piled high with naked spaghetti.
Tears pricked the back of her eyes at the memory, but she was not grieving. A jumble of emotions fought for dominance in her heart, but grief was not among them. Those were joyful times that she would carry with her forever, no matter which houses stood or fell. Glancing around the lot she imagined where the living room would have been and stepped into it. The space looked so much smaller from this perspective. Without the definition of the room itself–all its colors, smells, and sounds–it was just a twelve-by-twelve-foot square of dead grass. To think this exact spot held such significance for so long. She pictured herself laid out on the pink floral couch—a decorative piece that she had always mocked, but her mother adored for its vintage qualities. She was leaned up against her older sister, holding open the page of a picture book with one hand and clutching a teddy bear with the other. She could almost feel her mother’s presence—walking into the room with two bowls of ice cream and smiling softly as she observed her daughters enjoying the lazy evening before bedtime.
Only when the calls of her own young son behind her jolted her out of her daydream did she notice she was now crying freely. Tears brimmed from her eyelids and rolled down her cheeks like an overflowing kettle. And she smiled.