A few days I ago, I had an epiphany in a supermarket aisle as a display of Mothers’ Day cards caught my eye. Their vivid imagery, filled with colorful flowers, ribbons and bows reached out to me and a tear came to my eye. This will be the second Mothers’ Day for which I will not send a card to the woman who raised me with devotion and love; unless I choose to address it in care of Heaven. What occurred to me was that I need not use a stamp to send a mama-missive. She received it the minute the thought crossed my mind. My missing her was fleeting, my thought perpetual. There are, of course what my sister Jan calls “I-miss-Mommy-days”, when we 50 something year old women wish she were in front of us or on the other end of the phone so we could regale her with tales of delight or disappointment. She always knew what to say to mend a broken heart or celebrate a triumph. Her “There are plenty of fish in the sea.”, response to an adolescent relationship breakup was frustrating at times, but oh so true, as experience would have it. When she would offer “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything all.”, it caused me to consider the impact of my words AND simultaneously fed my co-dependence, since being a ‘good girl’ who didn’t want to make waves, became my M.O. Her guidance to “Walk in like you own the joint.”, enables me to connect with people, interview celebrities and ask for what I want (most of the time) without stuttering.
I was blessed to have been raised by a woman who saw the highest in everyone who crossed her path. Before she died the day after Thanksgiving of 2010, as we were planning the funeral at which I officiated as I did for my father 2 1/2 years earlier, I asked her what music she wanted. Her response was “I want that song…you know, the one you played for Daddy’s funeral and Uncle Jimmy’s funeral.” I knew exactly which one she meant. I don’t think she knew that it was written and sung by the same rough and tumble dude who offered the world “Werewolves of London”, “Lawyers, Guns and Money”, and “Excitable Boy”; all she knew was that the lyrics of the song Warren Zevon wrote when he knew he was dying, spoke to her.
At the moment, I feel at peace with the approach of the Hallmark holiday that will be here in a few days as I listen to the song and know that I will keep her in my heart for more than awhile <3
http://youtu.be/RMTKb-pgxGI Keep Me In Your Heart For Awhile by Warren Zevon
The photo of my mother Selma and me was taken a few years ago at the birthday party of the mother of a friend. It remains one of my favorite of the two of us.