a mother’s touch

On Sunday my family united at an old, favorite restaurant, Spaghetti Eddie’s. A place I have frequented since I was a young boy, “Eddie’s” serves classic American Italian food which to me always tastes comforting. The restaurant is located in the Mayflower Shopping Center in Glendora, CA and is adjacent to where my grandmother and grandfather’s jewelry shop, Mayflower Jewelers, stood for twenty plus years.

My grandparents arrived to this shopping center long before the Eddie was even born, but their jewelry store closed shortly after my grandma passed away. No longer Mayflower Jewelers, the place which once served as my second home has been transformed into a nail salon, a fast food joint, and now a taco stand.

I grew up watching my grandparents interact with their customers, admiring how they ran their business. They wrote all receipts by hand, knew everyone on a first name basis, and organized their showcases with pride. I loved being in the store not only to be close to my family but also so I could run across the parking lot for a tasty slice of pepperoni pie.

For countless reasons, Mayflower Shopping Center is a memory minefield. Even still my family can’t help but stop in for a Sunday meal every once and again.

So on this particular day, a day to celebrate all mothers, my family navigated around are emotions and celebrated our relationships. Feasting on a Sunday brunch and buffet, we took turns talking about the going ons in our lives. Sharing, listening, and caring.

I spoke about having a new dog in my life and how that very morning she carried in a dead squirrel from the yard. Not the sounds of her smacking nor licking her chops could lift me from my slumber, and it was much to my surprise when I crossed through the living room to see her standing over the carcass!

My brother and my mom shared stories of their own, too. And whether we agree on the issues at hand, I value having my family’s blessing and having them hear the stories about my life. I like them to be apart of my story as much as I am apart of theirs. 

After brunch, as we lingered in the parking lot, we stood before the window of the old jewelry shop and looked inside the window of the new business. I took a moment to remember what it felt like to be a young child in that environment. Everything feeling big and large – the world a giant place with no boundaries and infinite possibilities. Now the world seems smaller, as things changed, life happened, and we gained perspective.

With a long embrace, we said our goodbyes. My mother wished me well on my trip to Ireland, excited for my adventure and eager to hear about what the country is like. Being this was the last time we were to see each other before I return, we held our hug for a moment.

I’ve always been drawn to my mother’s touch, to feel her hands on mine. It connects me to the pulse of my life, to where I came from and to where I belong.

mother's hand

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14 thoughts on “a mother’s touch

  1. Ryan-Beautiful, simply beautiful… How wonderful your memories are and how perfect your descriptions are. I could close my eyes and picture you sitting and talking to your family in Spaghetti Eddie’s. I have been there many times myself! Their garlic rolls are amazing, I dream about them! One of the first times that I took my children out to dinner, by myself after my divorce, was at Eddie’s.
    You are a good man and a good son. How lucky you and your mother are to have each other.
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful words and thoughts with us.
    Have a wonderful time in Ireland. I hope the trip is FILLED with fun adventures!
    Hugs, Beth

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  2. Ryan: What is that famous saying…. something like “of all the places you travel, by far the strangest destination is home”?

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  3. I agree with all the comments above. The first thought I had after reading this piece was also “beautiful” I love your writing and am looking forward to your first book.

    Have a safe and wonderful trip.

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  4. I am choking up now Ryan!

    Isn’t it strange how things change and nothing ever stays the same, and wouldn’t it be great if life didn’t move so so fast. It’s something you don’t realize as a kid.

    My Mom always says, “the only constant thing is change”.

    I bet your Mom will love this memoir.

    Thanks. Paula

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  5. Wonderful story Ryan…..we are all so lucky to have the gift of memory.

    My mom is 79 and I have always admired her strength and ability to give so much to others. She raised 5 children and fostered 24 babies in the time we grew up.

    We all know the what lies ahead as our parents age, but I always tell people to really enjoy and appreciate what time they have left. I love the old stories, even the ones you say “oh, mom do you have to tell that one?” Life is so short, embrace every ounce of it.

    What you said about the touch of a mother’s hand says it all, thank you.

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  6. WOW Ryan!! SO touching!! I have been missing my Mother a lot lately..Hard to believe it’s been 15 yrs. in November!!

    I am thankful that you still have time with your mother and I appreciate you blogging this..It really helped evoke great memories!:)

    I agree with joe, when I read your stories, it’s just like being there

    you are an excellent writer..so when’s that book coming out? lol

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  7. as a little girl i used to lay on my mothers chest and listen to her heartbeat. i used to try and match my heartbeat with hers, breathing in and out in unison. i felt as though it magically connected us in some way.

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  8. I miss those days at the shop Ry. Remember going to Pepe’s to buy Nanny a diet coke? She would always send me to fetch it. 🙂 My heart hurst when I drive by the shop. I loved sharing my childhood with you and Greg. There are endless memories that I will treasure always.

    Enjoy your stay in Ireland! I miss you.

    Love,
    Jamie

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  9. AWWWW Ryan you really are a writer with the heart~
    brings me to tears~

    nothing like memories of grandparents~
    my grandmother died at age 47 taking the turkey from the oven on turkey day~
    i think of her often as i have never met her!
    she died at 47 when my mum was 16~
    but when i think of her
    i think of her as the strong irish grandmother with 8 sisters from NEWPORT R.I
    that sewed all the wedding dresses for the rich
    as that was her passion~

    im so happy that you know the wonderful feeling that only grandparents can keep in your heart forever~

    🙂

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  10. RYAN, I REPEAT EVERY COMMENT ABOVE AS MY THOUGHTS ALSO. I WISH I HAD A SON JUST LIKE YOU, I WOULD SCREAM TO THE WORLD HE IS MY SON, MY SON. YOU ARE SO SPECIAL AND I DON’T EVEN KNOW YOU AND HOW I WISH I DID. YOUR WRITINGS ARE WONDERFUL AND THEY READ LIKE A WARM BOOK. THANKS SWEET MAN,THANKS

    TO YOUR MOTHER, YOUR A VERY LUCKY WOMEN TO HAVE A SON LIKE RYAN. HE MAKES THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE JUST HAVING HIM IN IT.

    RYAN HAVE FUN ON YOUR TRIP. TAKE PICTURES AND SHARE.OF COURSE WE WANT YOU IN THOSE PICTURES.

    TAMPA GRANNY

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