While avoiding PTA meetings and extracurricular activities, Emily is raising 4 sons with her husband, St. Joel, in suburban monotony. She chronicles the everyday humor found in being a Laundress, Referee and Inventory Control Manager at 16 Balls in the Air with her friend Lib, who also has 4 sons.
It’s shiny and sparkly. I’m not even sure how many small diamonds surround the large diamond in the center, taken from her engagement ring. It’s beautiful. Really, it is. It was my idea. An exquisite, custom made pendant I can wear every day for the rest of my life. Really?!?! My mom died and all I got was this lousy necklace.
My mom died. It is still unsettling to say more than a year later. One day shy of her 68th birthday and a couple months after I turned 38 at the height of “My Great-Husband-4 Kids-Happy-Life Show”, I lost my audience.
Who am I supposed to call when the boys have good (or bad) report cards? Or create a Sharpie mural on the living room wall? Who else is going to care (or pretend to care) as much as I do about the preschooler’s role as a third row shepherd in the Christmas pageant? Someday at four grandson’s weddings, their grandmother won’t be there. It really sucks.
What I need is my mom, not the Enjoy Life and Don’t Take People for Granted lesson. I learned that from her every step of the way. My parents threw band parties in the back yard every 4th of July. My mom danced on stage with me at my wedding. She para-sailed at the beach on a dare from her oldest grandson. She cradled my first three boys within minutes of their birth. She held my hand before my cancer surgery and was there waiting when I woke up. I got it. Loud and clear. Thank you very much.
My closest friend was always there, until she wasn’t. We were always close (excluding the early ’80’s). As long as I can remember, we talked on the phone most days at least once, if not several times. We tried email, but we always had too much to talk about to type it all. I told her everything. Probably way more than she wanted to hear.
She is the reason I am tough, determined and fearless. Why I say exactly what I think even if it gets me in trouble. Why I am morally against using disposable plates at the dinner table and plastic cups for cocktails. Because of her, I have everything I have. Because of her, I am who I am. Today, I am most grateful that I am my mother’s daughter.
She always knew I loved her and I always knew she loved me. She was proud of me and I knew it. I was proud of her and thankfully I told her before. Before she died and all I got was this lousy necklace.