" When jellyfish float on the water, they look like pools of iridescent colors. Purples and blues mixed with pinks and greens. They are so beautiful, it is almost like a dream. But they are also very dangerous. Their sting can kill you." Momma told me this as I sat cross legged on the floor listening to her stories with rapt attention.
It was a good day. And when Momma was good, she was golden. She was like your favorite ice cream on a 100 degree day, or a shooting star so brilliant it steals your breath away.
These days made up for all the terrible days. They really did. On good days I felt so loved by her I wanted to burst into a million pieces of confetti and fly away.
She continued, " I knew a sea captain, he gave me this box." She pulled the box from her third drawer in her walnut dresser. It was black onyx with a silver mermaid on the front of it. The mermaid was sitting sideways on a rock that was jutting out of the ocean, looking over her shoulder. Her eyes said, " I am beautiful, love me."
I ran my finger softly down the mermaids smooth silver back..Momma gently brushed my hand away and opened the box.
She brought out a jar of sea glass that she had picked up off the beach when she had lived in Florida, near the sea captain.
The glass was worn down by the sand and waves, into smooth opaque pieces of beauty.
She then brought out a pair of delicately made porcelain hearts on fragile gold wires.
"These were a present from a boy who loved me." She said softly.
"Why didn't you marry him Momma?" I asked quietly, sensing her heartbreak. She had a very sad far away look in her eyes.
"Sometimes love isn't enough Rue. It was for me, but not for him. That is why Momma is always sad. A piece of me is gone that I can't seem to replace."
I jumped up and she hugged me to her. Our tears mingled.
I felt her heart so strongly...I still do.