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.