It’s Mayday. From the time I was 6 years old, Mayday has been very special and holds a tradition near and dear to my heart. I learned about Maybaskets in the 1st grade, and was very excited to bring home my first homemade one.
“Mommy” I asked, “What do I do with this?” So, mom came up with the idea of leaving it on our neighbor Grace’s front door. She carefully instructed me to hang it on the doorhandle, knock really loud and run back to her around the corner of our front porch, where we hid. She said “Run fast, because if she catches you she has to give you a hug and a kiss.” Well, she did not catch me that year, or the year after that, or even the year after that.
This became a tradition, every year for the past 48 years Grace has gotten a Maybasket. When I moved away, my sister left them, and when I moved back to the area, I picked up where I had left off. When I became an adult with children of my own, I taught them the joys of leaving Grace a Maybasket (partly because I couldn’t run as fast anymore and partly because I wanted to share this tradition with them).
When I was about 40 years old, Grace finally figured out who her Maybasket fairy was. They had torn down our neighborhood to build a Walgreens and Grace had moved into a secure apartment complex. It was impossible to sneak in, hang it on her door and run, so I started hanging them on her car. One day it seems, she caught me out the window. She never really told me she caught me, but would say things like…”The Maybasket fairy came to see me again…I wish I could catch her so she could get a hug and kiss.” Then she would say “If you see the Maybasket fairy, would you please tell her thank you?”
Her Maybasket was so important to her every year. After she had to go into assisted living, I tracked her down through family and friends. Grace should not have to go without her Maybasket. She said to me once “I can’t believe the Maybasket fairy found me here! I love my Maybasket fairy!” I told her the Maybasket fairy would find her no matter what.
I am now 54 and Grace is about 95. A few years back, she had a stroke and it was thought she would pass. She got her Maybasket early that year. She is somewhat like a baby now….unable to feed herself, unable to speak really. She looks blankly at you when she does look at you. Last year, she couldn’t wake up long enough to realize I was there. This year, however, she opened her eyes, unable to speak, the corner of her mouth tried to curl up in a little grin. She may not realize who I was, but I know she remembers her Maybasket.