There were things that amazed me, contorted my brain in funky ways. Things she could do that I thought were strange and impossible. One of which involved sweeping.
We had no dust pan. In fact, I have never owned one in my adult life, either. I honestly don't know how to operate the simplest household contraption made. Why? Because I learned another technique, one far more easy than a plastic tray with an odd angle at the end.
I watched her sweep, starting at the outside corners of the room. Sweeping in from the wall, she created a pile consisting usually of tiny blades of brown grass, bits of leaves, potato chip crumbs, and whatever other random things litter the kitchen floor. Shaping the pile patiently and gently, she would move it toward the center of the room adding bit by bit until the floor was clean. She took a single paper towel and ran it through a flow of water at the sink, wringing out the excess and opening it back up into a perfect square.
This is where the magic began. She'd take that square and use it with the palm of her hand to pick up the contents of her sweeping pile. One sweep of her hand, and most of it was gone, attaching itself to the dampness of that paper towel. Another brush over the floor, and it was clean.
As a child, I was amazed. When I swept a floor of my own, I quickly realized it wasn't as easy to do as it looked. It took me years to master the art. For a few years, I had to use two paper towels. Now I have it down to just one. Just like her.
May not seem so magical to you, but it is to me. I can still see her young hands performing the task. I can still feel my sense of wonder and pure delight in her. She was awesome to me then, and even more now. Even though she's gone, she has left these little pieces of her instilled in me that I never knew would mean so much.
I swept the floor yesterday and thought of you, Mama, especially when I wet that paper towel.