The Last Day
She takes my hand, leads me in. We’re surrounded by lights and colors, by trees and snow, Santas and Rudolphs. A real winter wonderland. My mom looks over at me and smiles because I’m smiling, she squeezes my hand tighter and whispers: “it’s our magical wonderland, just for us.” I squeeze her hand back and giggle, pick up my pace and pull her along, until we get to the first Santa and I stop, grabbing his hand too. I wish this would never end, I whisper to him, I wish it can stay like this forever. It’s such a beautiful place to be spending time together, just the two of us, and I feel so grateful, so happy, so happy. We walk around, touching the different statues, taking in the various smells and just standing there in the middle of it all. Though I hear the shouts of joy from others, it’s like they’re not there; in this world, it’s just my mom and I, me and my mom. Just the two of us.
We spend the evening sharing in the joy - ordering the biggest hot chocolates and asking for mountains of whipped cream, which we drink together slowly, slowly. The hot chocolate and time with my mom come together, filling my insides with warmth and I feel safe - truly safe, for the first time. I look at her eyes and see a glimmer that I have never seen before, a reflection like a star, like my mom is a star shining just for me. I reach out and touch her to make sure it’s real, scoop a bit of the whipped cream off her mug and taste it. It’s real, it’s real. We walk around, looking at the lights, comparing which one is our favorite, planning to decorate our house with lights like these when we get back. I look back at the first Santa and mentally send him a thank you that I’m here, that we’re here, that we get to share this together.