Friday, September 28, 2012


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.


Maya said...

Happy birthday to your mom. I always forget ours were so close in age...mine would be 62 on Sunday. I hope they are somewhere having a great time (maybe together?) Hey a girl can dream...) and that they are very proud of us.
I love you and cancer SUCKS. The end.

Molly said...

Happy Birthday to your mama. I fucking HATE cancer. And yes, you can miss what you never had. I hate that. I wish she could be here with you today.

Michelle said...

I didn't lose my father as young as you were when you lost your mom. And my dad wasn't as young as your mom, but his bday is in Dec and he would be 60 also. And it seems weird to have a parent not reach their 60th bday.
I think it is absolutely possible to miss what has never existed, because your mom DID exist and you are missing all the things you have missed out on with her since you were 18. I'm fortunate that yes, my dad did get to be here for the birth of both my children, but how much of him will they really remember now that he is gone. I think of all the things he is missing out on watching his grand kids grow up, I imagine those are the same type of things you're missing too. And the whole presence of your mom. I could identify with a lot of what you wrote and wish I could give you a hug as I'm wiping the tears away.

Alison said...

This is a beautiful post. I'm really sorry you didn't get to have a relationship with your mom where you were both adults together.

krlr said...

I'm so sorry you lost your mom. I never know what to say to you or to others who've lost their parents too early. Mine are still around and... it's complicated. She sounds like a she was a neat lady & fabulous mom. Hugs.