Back When

I stood in line at the drug store, buying nylons and mascara. There was sugar free liquorice and I almost bought some. For just a second my mum wasn’t dead, she was alive and talking to me and sugar free liquorice went into her stocking.

I called my godmother – to get her new address for her Christmas card, to see how she was doing, to arrange to stop in for coffee after Christmas.

In some places, when I call, I am still Cheryl-Nancy. I phone and they say “Cheryl-Nancy!”. Like all children, I hated that name when I was younger. I hated how prissy it sounded. It reflected someone who just wasn’t me. At the ripe old age of 38 – nowhere near a child, it reminds me of my roots.

They are complicated roots. Gnarled, twisted. Some of the trees they grew were dark and twisted.¬†And some of them weren’t. Some of those roots grew into amazing things. This morning was one of those mornings. You know, the kind where nothing goes right. You wake up late, can’t find things, need to change your purse and your boots fit funny and your tights have a hole in them.

I was running around the house this morning, running through work stuff, school stuff, Christmas stuff (the gifts are bought. The decorating and the groceries – not so much). I walked back into the bathroom and there was a whiff of my perfume. For a moment, I thought of my mum rampaging through the house, trying to get out the door. For a moment I thought of being a small child, of where I came from.

Back when I was still Cheryl-Nancy.


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