Friday, November 19, 2004


Yesterday would have been my mother's 61st birthday... and until yesterday, I was half my mother's age.

Yesterday, my mom's best friend called me. I still consider P to be my mom's best friend despite the fact that my mom died over 7 and a half years ago. It seems like yesterday and it seems like an eternity. Every year P calls me on this day - she calls me on other days too, but always on my mom's birthday. She asks how I'm doing and I ask how she's doing. We don't have to say much, b/c we both just get it. We both miss her. P lost her mom when she was very young, so she understands the hole in your heart that not having your mom around creates. I'm very lucky to have her in my life. I'm also very grateful to P's daughter, J... because she shares her with me.

When my mom was alive, she used to joke with me "oh, Sesser (that was her nickname for me), what would I ever do without you?" Sometimes she said this after I had helped her out around the house (every summer when I was in University I became the floor-scrubber / window washer / indentured servant)... it was then that I would reply "Without me, you would do your own windows and your own floors!" And then we would both laugh. Other times, she just asked what she would do without me because she knew I was growing up and would soon be thinking about moving away. She never got to see that.

When she was sick, I finally asked her, "Mom, what will I do without you?" To which she replied "Well, you've got your aunts (5 of them, thank goodness) and you've got P. If you ever need anything, you call them. " She was very practical and very wise... and she knew that I needed to know it was ok to ask for help. And so, that's what I do - when I need advice on the crazy things I do - like deciding to make jam and starting at 10pm, I phone up my mom's sister... when I need to know what's going on in the family ('cause let's face it, not all dad's are good at family gossip), I call my dad's aunt... when I need to talk about my mom, though, I call P. She gets it. When her mom died, she said she was scared to talk about her b/c it made everyone sad. So when P and I talk about my mom we talk about the sad things and the funny things.

We talk about the time in the ladies clothing store that the clerk thought my mom was P's mom b/c of her snow white hair. We talk about the trip we took to Florida, P and her daughter, J, my mom and me and another friend and her daughter... It was after my and J's first year of university. We sat up late and confessed the stupid things we had done in high school. And our mom's confessed that they had known about the stupid things we had done. We talk about the shopping trip to New Hampshire when P had a migraine and my dad (a pharmacist) gave P one of his migraine pills. When we stopped to get a cookie my mom realized that P was a bit stoned. We refer to this as the "Cookie Mountain Incident". And we talk about my mom's laugh, because it was such a great laugh.

P also reassures me that my mom would be happy with the person I've become, because she knows that she is. And I desperately hope that she's right about my mom. But I'm also secretly glad that P is proud of me.

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