Pie Crust

The living room walls flanked the moving boxes, containing her mother’s effects. She had risen early in the morning loading them in her truck, and moving them to her house a total of two times. Her back ached, traffic had been heavy.

Driven to the boxes, she wanted a touch of her mother’s life still in her hands. The warm pulsating shower on her back muscles could wait.

She needed to find something she needed to see, when she saw it she would know. After tearing open a few boxes and peeking inside, she saw her mother’s three Pyrex mixing bowls, wrapped in newspaper, stacked. The largest one was yellow, bright and warm. The middle one was green and the smallest red. Her heart settled.

Baking pie crust was a skill she outranked her mother on. The first time her mother taught her how to make a pie crust, it had been flaked-with-a-fork perfect. “You were just lucky,” she had said. The words had bitten her.

Walking into the kitchen with the three bowls, she decided to bake a pie. She gathered the pie plate, rolling pin, spatula and iced water before she got her hands sticky with dough.

As she pulled the newspaper off, the red bowl slipped out of her hand and shattered on the kitchen floor. She sank to the floor, salty tears charging down her face towards the scattered shards all over the kitchen floor. Not this too.

Loss was not the enemy, quitting was. Wiping the tears from her face, she stood up. Imagining her mother here with her in the kitchen, wearing that stripped caftan.

The note lay between the green and yellow bowls. It was her mother’s handwriting, hard to read. Her mother had never learned to print in elementary school, cursive was all she knew.

You always made better crust than me.