The world looks different today. The sun less bright, the sky less blue. I mourn, but I am thankful for every moment I shared with this amazing woman. She touched so many lives with her warmth, her generosity, her charm, her passion, her fierce loyalty and unfailing love and her dazzling joie de vivre.
There is so much I could share with you about my Mom. She was so many things to me and to so many people. She was thoughtful and kind and generous with her time and herself. She loved her family and her friends fiercely, passionately, and if she loved you, she would do anything in the world for you. She loved life and her enthusiasm was contagious. But those are big picture things. And I’d like to talk about the little things.
She loved to be useful, to be needed, to be helpful. She could get stains out of clothing like no one else I know. Honestly, I could use the same stain stick as she did (of course it was the same stain stick–she gave it to me) and use the same technique she used and I couldn’t for the life of me get the stain out. But she could, and she would victoriously display the garment to me, always hung neatly on a hanger. She could fix zippers. I still have one I need her to fix. She could refinish furniture. She could mend any rip, tear or hole in any kind of fabric. She could reupholster dining room chairs, or any chair or cushion for that matter. She could do pull ups in a moving subway car. No joke. She made the best scrambled eggs on the planet. (I’ve tried to mimic her, but without success according to AJ and Elle). She could make an ensemble from Ross Dress For Less look like a million bucks. She was a hoarder of canned goods. She was a hoarder of Kleenex. She loved to swipe the little butter packets and sugar packets from restaurants. She had an amazing vocabulary. She loved to laugh and had a smile that lit up a room. When she was trying to be annoyed, she did what her kids would call ‘the lower teeth thing.’ She loved a good garage sale and actually threw the best garage sales in the neighborhood. She loved to watch Bones and Castle, but you didn’t dare call her during NCIS or Big Bang Theory, and if you did, she would politely, but very hurriedly tell you she’d call you back at the commercial. She was quick with a thank you note, or a note of encouragement or a note of friendship. She never ever forgot a birthday. If you ever mentioned some item you needed, perhaps just in passing, like for example, ‘Oh, Elle needs a green shirt for her play’ or ‘I just can’t find a rug to fit in my bathroom’, the very next day Mom would provide the very thing you asked for or needed. She had ESP about paper towel, always gifting me with an eight-pack on the exact day I pulled my last roll out of the cupboard.
I am the baby of the family, and I was a surprise, coming several years after my siblings. So I was blessed to have Mom to myself a lot of the time. Mark, Craig and Sharilyn would be dashing ahead, and I would be by my mother’s side, holding her hand. I always held her hand, everywhere we went, and it was a habit I never outgrew. Our theme song was “You and Me Against the World,” and we sang it to each other often. The lyrics of the final stanza go as follows: And when one of us is gone, and one of us is left to carry on, then remembering will have to do, our memories alone will get us through. With the blessed ignorance of youth, I never gave those lyrics much thought. But now, I understand them. My mom is gone. And now, remembering will have to do.
I love you, Mom, with all my heart.