Aisle Of Wit

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The Mother Of All Days

I fall into the category of someone who dreads Mother’s Day, as this is the 30th that mine has not been alive.   As those of you who are in a similar position might concur, it never gets easier.  Without a living mother, spouse or significant other directly in my life I have a tremendous sense of FOMO when this day rolls around, remembering both with tears and anger how frustrating it is to experience the joys of my niece and nephew, a world with the ability to instantly communicate with text and video and a new edition of the $100,000 PYRAMID without her.  No doubt, she would have loved the world of 2022, pandemic or not.

My mother was anything but perfect and, indeed, had some significant personality and character flaws.  I thought about sharing some of them with you in an earlier draft of this, but after collapsing from exhaustion after the angrier version of this entry did not load, I rethought my approach.  No matter how bitter I am that she left us way too prematurely, I need to remember that she did the absolute best she could under daunting circumstances, not the least of which being attempting to raise me without smothering me both literally and figuratively.    Those of you who do know me better are likely aware of some of her more biting phrases and attempts at support that in the rear-view mirror could have been considered grounds for child welfare authorities to intervene.  Suffice to say, whatever she may have done has been paid for many times over by the fact that she’s missed the last three decades, at least in body.

Arguably, her best work was giving birth to my beautiful sister, who I gleefully described to you in detail in the February 12th entry on this site.  I strongly encourage you to read it if you haven’t or reread if you have, because it’s proof that X chromosomes can often be the difference between someone who struggles and someone who commands.  In my sister’s case, she is a paragon of fortitude, resilience, class and reverence.  And if you think I’m complimentary, wait ’till you hear what her kids say.

Her “kids”, my precious niece and nephew, are young adults in their early 20s now.  My niece is already well on her way to a career in her chosen field of fashion, with an office on Broadway and living the world of being young and (safely) partying in Manhattan that I only briefly got to enjoy. My nephew is an honor student on his way to an advanced degree at Temple University, coincidentally my sister’s law school alma mater.  I do like Owls.  If it sounds like I am proud of the, well, that’s a mild understatement.

Without the foundation of support while she raised her kids, nor the background of what could arguably be called a functional household in her youth, my sister and her husband established the importance of self-reliance, health, responsibility and accountability in their household, and her children have upheld and indeed expanded upon those qualities impeccably.  When you set foot in their immaculately kept environment, you are immediately inspired to be a better person yourself.  Milkshedik and flaishedik are terms you’ll willingly embrace (google them if you must).  Smoking outside won’t be cause for consternation.  Respecting boundaries will eventually be learned.

Now that I no longer have a partner who was incapable of even acknowledging, let alone behaving, in a way that honored those ground rules, I feel I am a much better person and perhaps a more welcome relative.

And at the end of the day, if my mom’s DNA has anything at all to do with creating the architect of such a blissful existence, well, then, both of them should be honored today.

Sis is off on a much-needed vacation, being healthy and touring a venue she had never visited before, so she’s out of pocket.  I’ll attempt to have my seance with my mom, but I’m sadly not that spiritual.  My beautiful friend says she had one the other night with her, comparing their mutual love of Marlboros as well as, well, me.  Since those Marlboros helped take my mom from this world so prematurely, I kinda wish my beautiful friend could give them up, But who am I to push anyone into anything prematurely?

I don’t have many pictures of my mom.  Most of my memories were lost in floods and hasty moves escaping my past life mistakes.  Sadly, this is where she is today. Side by side with my dad for eternity, surrounded by the remains of his lodge brothers and their judgmental wives who she still served coffee and cake to grudgingly.  But at least they’re in New Jersey, near the family she helped start and should have had the chance to know how fantastic they turned out because of the girl she conceived.

If you have better connection skills with the other side than I do, give my Mom this message:  You did OK.

Now excuse me while I have a good cry.

Until next time…