My mother would have been sixty years old today. That sounds so strange to me. I guess because I can't imagine it. She was always the one to seem younger than she was. She liked it that way. It pleased her for people to think we were sisters instead of mother and daughter. Everyone swore we looked just alike.
From her, I received my propensity to be loud, to make people laugh, to look for the Fun door and walk, nay bust, through it. She also taught me how to be cautious and responsible because I learned what could happen if you weren't.
She let me wear her Salt n Pepa jeans, as she called the stone washed pair with the rips and red fabric underneath, in the 8th grade, as I was struggling to fake my way into being half as cool as she was.
She taught me how to drive a stick. Lesson number one was on the Jersey Turnpike when she decided that she needed a break from driving one day. I was a nervous wreck. She was proud when I lasted an hour and told everyone what her girl had done.
She couldn't swim and made sure that I participated in Diaper Dip as a baby so that I could before I could walk. And she became my biggest cheerleader when I competed for years thereafter.
When she died, I was 18 and she was 42. She never got to be a pesky mother-in-law to BD or a doting grandmother to my children.
In the way that it is possible to miss what has never existed, I do.
And as much as a grown woman can want her mommy? I do that, too.
All the time.