Frank’s home health aide welcomed me into his kitchen by pointing towards the back of the house. “He’s watching TV. Just go through there,” she instructed as if Frank’s house didn’t have the exact floorplan as mine next door. With only one architectural difference (his square shaped dining room is a hexagon at my place), our homes are fraternal twins. I can easily navigate Frank’s house blindfolded.Read More
One More Thing Before I Go
Last spring when the scent of lilacs followed me from the backyard into my kitchen, I thought of my mother’s distant cousin and her daughters, who, like my lilacs, visited yearly when the earth warmed and the days grew longer. I pictured us all in idyllic memories of jump rope games and playing with dolls. But, except for MaryAnn, the littlest daughter, I could not remember their names.
A few years ago, I could have called my mother. She would have teased me for my forgetfulness, asked what I was making for dinner (there was never a phone conversation where we didn’t talk about food) and repeated her mother-to-daughter mantra, “When are you coming over?” We would have shared stories of those long-ago days before hanging-up and re-joining our lives. But my mother has passed on and while the images of our family lingers-the details are lost. I write One more thing before I go, my living record for my son, in hope that one day, when he has a question I can no longer answer, it can be found in this blog.
My mother and I were Olympic-grade shoppers. Soon after I took my first steps on my own, she deemed me her shopping buddy and took me to every department store reachable by bus or subway. It was her happy place.Read More
I heard her name before we met. At a teacher meeting, I asked a question and was told to speak to Barbaramogelhoff. I thought it was one word; like the name of rare Russian caviar. To this day, I can’t say her name slowly-it always rolls off the tongue in a hurry.Read More
Put two men in a space ship traveling our galaxy for 20 years and after splash down, the only thing they’ll know about each other is how much they like Derek Jeter. Put two women in a stalled elevator for 20 minutes and they’ll know each other’s marital status, number of children, favorite shoe sales, problems with stretch marks (if their younger-problems with acne) and when their next periods are due or how they’re coping with hot flashes. It’s just the way we are. I’m not saying men don’t...Read More
After ten perfectly delightful years of hand-holding and foot caressing-my nail salon has closed. Its massage chairs, autoclaves and tiered displays of Esse lacquers with seductive names like Topless and Barefoot are gone. While other shops may be as inexpensive and quiet, (now that I’ve seen these attributes, it’s obvious why it closed), they don’t have my mother confessor-my champion-my podiatrist-without-portfolio-my nailist; Sheila.
Sheila and I first held hands when she was hired a decade...