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Eva Crocker shares a story about her mother, Lisa Moore

Eva Crocker shares a story about her mother, Lisa Moore

When I was five years old, my mom gave me a hardcover journal with eight entries already filled in. All the entries are accompanied by a photo taken with a disposable camera. The first seven are blocks of text, printed on a dot matrix printer, then snipped to fit the page and glued in place. The last entry is handwritten in blue pen and dated December 24, 1995. Her loopy cursive says she is writing this final entry at work, so she can wrap the journal and give it to me in the morning.

The first seven entries are all from September of that year. She writes about the things we did each day: potting geraniums on the back deck, spending an afternoon with her friends who lived nearby and brought their own coffee mugs, dressing me in cream tights for a visit at my nan’s, eating a thrown together supper of canned beans and poached eggs, gluing sequins to a papier-mâché mask she made in art school.

There is an entry about a windy Sunday at Middle Cove Beach with my best friends, the Carters (a set of identical twins and their sister who is just ten months younger). In the accompanying photo me and the Carters stand near the edge of a cliff. The wind has electrified our hair and our mouths are opened wide to show off sprinkle-covered Timbits between our front teeth.

I recently took a photo of my sister’s two-year-old son, Leo, at the top of the slide in his light-up Paw Patrol sneakers. He has a wild smile on his face, he’s beating his heels against the aluminum, splashing the reflective surface with flashes of blue light. His giddy energy in the photo, the brazenness of his smile, reminded me of the journal and that photo of us on the cliff.

When my mom gave me the journal she told me to fill the blank pages, but I’ve always felt like it was too precious to mark in. A photo of my older sister polishing her Doc Martens on the front step is glued to the page opposite my mom’s last entry. Today, I’m thinking of printing this picture of Leo on the slide and sticking it on the next page.

EVA CROCKER is the author of the critically acclaimed debut short story collection Barrelling Forward, which won the Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction and the CAA Emerging Writer Award, was a finalist for the Writers’ Trust Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Emerging Writers and the NLCU Fresh Fish Award for Emerging Writers, and was a National Post Best Book.

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