This is my first motherless Mother’s Day. It’s sad she won’t be here with us today.
Her death was the last step on a long road where the woman we knew and loved slowly disappeared. It didn’t seem fair for my mom’s life to be as burdened as it was with infirmity. She finally surrendered.
My mom’s name was Betty. She was one of two daughters in a family living the American dream. Both her parents had immigrated from Eastern Europe. My grandfather worked his way from waiter to the co-owner of a luncheonette. He and his partner (referred to only as, “Spiegel”) made, as they say, a good living.
Betty always looked younger than her age. She was very pretty. As her son I never picked up on that.
One day she was summoned to Miss Leddy’s office at PS 163. Mary M. Leddy was our principal, humorless and stern. There was a very hard, very imposing, solid oak bench outside her door.
I was in third grade.
My mom also got the call from Rabbi Thaler.
“Mrs. Fox, your son Geoffrey is going to embarass all of us!”
He was calling a week before my bar mitzvah. Spoiler alert. I did fine. We didn’t totally understand then that I was a performer.
At my niece Jessica’s wedding, my daughter and her cousin, Melissa, got their grandmother drunk! She was a fun drunk. My one and only time seeing her that way.
While working in Connecticut I called my mom nearly every night as I drove home. My dad told me she looked forward to it. Me too.
I knew grew too old to call her, “Mommy.”
I really haven’t cried much since my mom died. I am crying now. I really wish she was here.
In this particular instance, life sucks.