Blackberry Preserves

We never had enough money or sophistication to own a candy thermometer when I was growing up. When my mother made fudge, one of her specialties, and needed to figure out if it had reached the “soft ball” stage, she would drop a small spoonful of the boiling candy mixture into ice water. If she could collect it into a “soft ball” with her fingers, it was done. She used a similar technique with fruit preserves.

I made blackberry preserves tonight. And I am missing my mother.

Yes, I saw her today. And the day before that. And I will see her tomorrow. But the mother I see every day isn’t the mother I want tonight. I want the mother who could have told me if the blackberry preserves were ready to put in the jars. The one who would have wanted to know what I want for Christmas. And made sure that we had fried apple pies on Christmas morning, because they were my favorite. The one who worried about me and my well-being.

Now, I worry about her well-being. And that is OK with me. On most days, every day really, I am grateful for the opportunity to give her joy. We decorated the tree in her room today. She loved the snowman theme. After we finished, I started to leave but then ran back to her room to get something I had forgotten. She was sitting on her bed staring at the tree. She said, “Kim Reeder, you are back. Don’t bother me now, I am looking at my tree.”

Most days that is enough. But sometimes I just miss my mother.

  5 comments for “Blackberry Preserves

  1. Megan
    December 5, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Kimmy, your mother misses herself also. And she is in the most loved and best living situation possible because of you.

    It breaks my heart to hear you miss her so.
    Please also know that I love you.
    Always.

  2. Neil
    December 6, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    Bless both your hearts. And a very merry Christmas to all of you.

    • December 9, 2014 at 2:01 am

      Thank you so much, Neil. Hope your holidays are wonderful as well!

      • Annie
        December 9, 2014 at 2:07 am

        I Love you mom! 🙂

  3. Megan Binkley
    December 7, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    I love you Kimmy. Thank you for sharing this post

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