How Great Thou Part

How Great Thou Part

My Catholic Mother’s Jewish Best Friend

We sit nestled under an umbrella. The late August sun peeks out around us. We are jabbering relentlessly because far too many years have passed between us. The waiter stops to take our order only to be ushered away while we chat some more.

For me there are not enough hours in this visit. I am thrilled to be sitting next to one of my mother’s very best friends and her son and his partner. So happy to be reunited with them.

She is a Brooklyn girl just like my mom which brings forth a familiarity that comforts me.

As we talk she reaches for my arm. It too, reminds me of my mother. It is a familiar gesture and brings with it the type of understanding empathy that my mom would offer me in this moment.

In the throws of this thing called divorce which ravages the heart I am missing my mom. She is the only one that could truly absorb my hurricane of tears, chase away my fears and make me believe that everything will one day be okay.


Though many years have come and gone since Babs has moved to the West Coast she is just as I remember her. She is warm, kind, and loving with a spirited ‘joie de vivre’ and a constant smile.

Babs once fondly told me of their first meeting. After her move to Washington, D.C., she went in search of a few Jewish girlfriends and in the midst of that she met an Irish Catholic girl from Park Slope, who spoke a little yiddish and brought her Jewish penicillin when she was sick.

We find ourselves laughing over my mom and her yiddish.

We dig into the food in front of us. There are stories and memories. For a few hours my mom is present. A bit of her brought to life by a friend who loved her.

I am in the moment grateful for this gift. I am in that short time lifted to the twelve year old sitting at the table watching my mom and Babs trade rapturous laughter and happy to be in the middle of it.


I pour out a bit of my heart as the lunch nears an end. I share a few of the fears I would have told my mom.

Babs imparts a bit of wisdom and offers me a hug.

I watch her walk away. I am left with the same combination of love, hope and moxie that my mom would have gifted me.

I may be the only Irish Catholic girl who hears someone talk about Jewish Penicillin and responds, “Hey, my mom made that!”

Then again, my mom was always proud to say that she spoke a little yiddish.

Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Comments are closed.

Previous Posts

The 2 People Your Spouses Are in Divorce
My friend "Crystal" calls me. She tells me she has just read one of my recent columns, "The Weak Moments of Divorce" - aka the column where I wrote about listening to our honeymoon song, "Red, Red Wine" on the radio. "Crystal" gets it. She's ...

posted 3:18:05am Oct. 05, 2015 | read full post »

10 Tips for The Newly Divorcing
I am a bit nervous this morning. I am on the way to meet a friend. We have a few too many, obvious parallels and instead of feeling this is helpful it makes me sad. I never, ever, want to see a heart hurt again. Let alone one that would have ...

posted 6:39:28pm Oct. 02, 2015 | read full post »

5 Reasons I Am Glad I Am Almost Divorced
I am in my car. I am lost in thought as I listen to Sara Evan's song, "I Get A Little Bit Stronger." It is a song that is an ode to healing little by little after a lost relationship. Today there are no tears like these songs usually drag out of ...

posted 2:26:10pm Sep. 25, 2015 | read full post »

A Six Year Old's Shocking Video to Her Divorced Parents
I feel compelled to share this unbelievable video. It is prompted by the innocence and purity of love of a six year little old girl. I am so taken by the insight and words of this young child that I have actually highlighted below some of ...

posted 2:20:42pm Sep. 24, 2015 | read full post »

It's a Great Day to Be a Catholic in America
I am busy cleaning this morning, but can't keep my eyes off the television. I watch the President and the Pope walk towards the platform to address the crowd. I am transfixed by Pope Francis, as is much of the world. I listen to the ...

posted 4:00:15pm Sep. 23, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.