Very Last *I Miss Jaymi* Entry This Week ... I Swear
standing in front
of the bathroom mirror on Thursday morning, taking a quick final
inventory before heading out the
flat, messy, dull,
roots are showing, desperately in need of a trim again ... but
acceptable. It's not like I'm on my way to the Prom, after all.
muted than usual. (There's no hiding the dark circles under my eyes
this week: I'm going to just quit trying.)
Early American Bag Lady. The weather has been weirdly unpredictable
here in the East Bay all week long ... ping-ponging wildly back and
forth between bursts of sunshine and bouts of rainstorm. Plus the air
conditioning in our building has been on the fritz again: it was like a
sauna in the Dirt Company office all day yesterday, like an Arctic
tundra the day before that. So I'm not exactly sure how to dress today.
Just to be on the safe side, I'm in top-to-bottom layers: light
short-sleeved blouse and slacks, topped by light long-sleeved blouse,
topped by ugly auxiliary cardigan sweater, topped by -- the fashion
pièce de résistance -- the lovely suede jacket
that Jaymi gave me for Mother's Day last year. I just got the jacket
back from the tailor on Saturday: they sewed that middle front button
back on for me, plus it looks they reinforced all of the other buttons
at the same time. So this is the first time I've been able to wear my
pretty jacket to the office in quite a while.
looks really nice,
actually. Plus it's going to make me feel closer to my daughter all
I'm admiring myself
in the mirror, I notice suddenly that the right breast pocket on my
jacket looks suspiciously lumpy. Did I accidentally leave something in
my pocket, the last time I wore the jacket? I don't remember. I reach
into the pocket and pull out a tiny piece of blue paper, folded into
quarters. A store receipt? A grocery list? A love note from the tailor,
maybe? Mystified, I unfold the little piece of paper.
a note, written in Jaymi's distinctively round, girlish handwriting.
Mom! it says. I
it. That's all
there is to it. No signature, no smiley faces doodled in the margins,
no P.S. at the bottom: just a sweet, simple declaratory statement of
love from my kid. I am touched, and amused ... and baffled, frankly.
When on earth did she manage to sneak a note into my pocket? We were
stuck together like Color Forms for the entire weekend. Did she do it
when we were driving to the mall on Saturday, maybe? She was sitting in
the back seat, I was sitting in the front seat next to David with the
jacket hanging on the back of the seat; maybe she quietly scribbled
the note while we were driving, and then slipped it into my pocket
while no one was paying attention. Or maybe she did it while I was
sleeping, or while I was in the bathroom taking out my contacts, or
while I was popping the Christmas video into the VCR.
well. It doesn't
she did it, does it? The important thing is that she did it, and
it's exactly the sort of thoughtful little pick-me-up that I need this
morning. This has been a tough week -- emotionally, physically,
professionally, financially, every way that counts, not just for me but
for the world -- and I need all of the psychic reinforcement I can get
right now. I carefully refold the note and slip it back into my pocket.
I'm sure I'm going to be looking at it often today, as I schlog through
Day #43,897,621 of The Project From Hell.
soon as I get to the
Dirt Company, I fire off a quick e-mail to her at her office. When
did you put the note in my pocket?? I want to immediately
this spontaneous act of love and thoughtfulness and all-around
seconds later, my
note?" she says. "I didn't put any note in your pocket."
figure she's yanking
my chain here -- paying me back for threatening to set her up with The
Main Nerdy Geotech Guy, maybe -- but after talking to her for a minute
or two, it quickly becomes clear that she's as genuinely mystified by
the whole note-in-the-pocket thing as I am. "I didn't put any note into
your jacket pocket this weekend, Mom," she says. "I swear to god."
definitely her handwriting, though. There's no way that either her
brother or her sister could have written it. Eventually, we decide that
must have written the note sometime last year -- perhaps during her
pre-Thanksgiving visit last fall -- and then she forgot all
about it. The note has lingered there in my jacket pocket all these
months since then ... hidden, forgotten, biding its sweet time, waiting
to be discovered, like a message in a bottle washed up on the shore ...
until the very
morning when I needed it the most. next
throw a rock