Thursday, October 1, 2020

Goodbye Mom

Mom, my very first role model, a comforting cold hand on a feverish forehead. Always happy to hear from us regardless of the time. Our biggest fan, sometimes embarrassingly so. Occasionally, I wondered who exactly she was talking about in such glowing terms when on the phone with a friend of hers, only to was me (or my brothers). Always hoping for a yes to staying up late to watch old British thrillers and eat ice cream. And if you wandered into the kitchen early the next morning, there she was drinking coffee (when did she sleep?) Excited to hear your news, rejoicing when it was good and comforting when it was bad. 

She could sometimes fudge the truth like when she convinced my husband to accompany her to the summer market and it turned out to be three markets and he forever after joked that to keep up with my Mom one needed the stamina of a marathoner, noting with chagrin, that once home she still managed to cook spaghetti alle vongole for 10 people. Or when she told her grandchildren to call her Bronte even though her name was Norma. "I always liked the name Bronte," she reasoned. Or untrustworthy, like when she gave you recipes and left out key ingredients..."You mean I didn't tell you about the parsley/parmigiano/garlic..." 

But mainly she was the person you called to tell stuff, from the mundane to the profane: books in excruciating detail, delicious meals eaten with friends, and funny mishaps in the kitchen. I will miss that unwavering, totally biased love for my kids, her positive attitude, and encouraging words. But most of all, I will miss her voice on the phone saying: "Jen?!" even though she was the one who had called. Or laughing when I would answer with the catch phrase: "Well, well, well...look who it is." The silent afternoons loom large without the daily calls I realize only now just how much I took for granted.

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