The Shape Of My Mother

From outside the classroom, I heard Daddy’s footsteps come running.

“Mika, are you alright!?”

My teacher told him what had happened. Then, he asked me if it was true.

“We were doing origami in class,” I said. “Teacher said she would teach us whatever shapes we want to make. And I want the shape of Mommy.”

Daddy looked sad once I mentioned her. He looked like that, too, at her funeral. 

“These days,” I continued, “her face was all blurry when I tried to picture her. Am I bad that I couldn’t remember Mommy?”

Once we got home, Daddy searched around old boxes. He found a baby mobile with some origamis loosely hung from its string. “Momy made this when you were born,” said he. “What say we make new origamis to add to it?”

“I want to make Mommy’s favorite things,” I said, excited. 

He found me some origami papers. “Things that Mommy likes, let’s see,” he said. “Birds watching was her hobby. But butterflies were her favorite animal.”

I fold some birds and lots of butterflies. Then, I made a boat because Mommy loved boat paddling in a lake. I made a lily, too, which was her favorite flower. And he helped me tie those up to the mobile, then hung them over the ceiling.

On his lap, I sat, watching those shapes I made.

“Mommy’s so beautiful, wasn’t she?” Daddy said. “Thank you, Mika, for helping me remember her, too.”

For a long time, I gazed. Then, finally, the fainted image within my memory became clear of Mommy when she was still living. And how she looked so happy, holding me in her arm.



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