Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Satin Doll

I remember the way her beef stroganoff tasted, my favorite birthday dinner every year, with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkled with dill.
I remember her Lee's Press-on Nails, usually in some shade of coral.
I remember how she looked when she was sleeping.
I remember she thought I was funny and smart and a better version of her.
I remember the sound of her voice, scolding our cat Snowball, as she walked down the hall towards the bathroom, as he held on to the hem of her terry robe and was dragged behind.
I remember the sound of her fake nails clicking on the organ as she played.
I remember watching her put make up on, and especially loved during the 60's, when she wore thick black eyeliner and very poufy hair.
I remember when she took cupcakes to my brother's class on Halloween, in a gorilla suit.
I remember the way her hand writing looked, and how my name looked when she wrote it.
I remember when she told me about the birds and bees, in 7th grade, and I asked a whole lot of questions and she candidly answered every single one.
I remember her scream on my 5th birthday as they announced our President, John F. Kennedy, had been assassinated.
I remember when her name was on a marquis in Las Vegas, right below Wayne Newton's.
I remember the summer we spent without the boys, when she took a gig in Ventura, and she and I lived in the Holiday Inn right on the beach, and she bought me the only bikini I ever owned, and it was tie-dyed.
I remember the sound of her inconsolable crying many nights after her Mother died.
I remember her coming to my rescue and teaching me how to drive a stick-shift after I got so nervous with my Dad that I backed onto the neighbor's dichondra lawn.
I remember the way she used to say "Oh Deb..." all wistful and affectionate and like a sigh.
I remember how her voice sounded so small the night she died as she lay on the bathroom floor of my apartment, when the fireman asked her "What's your name honey?" and she quietly said "Nancy."
I remember how much she loved cake, and mistakenly ate the top of our wedding cake which was in our freezer while we were gone on our honeymoon because she didn't realize it was tradition to save it for the one year anniversary.
I remember the night she brought a puppy home in the pocket of her trench coat.
I remember her stories of growing up in Staten Island, in a big house with her beloved family and Big Gram and a cat named Peetie, and how Big Gram would not move to California with them because she wanted to die in New York.
I remember she always dreamed of living in Connecticut or going to Martha's Vineyard and Cape Cod.
I remember when she lost a lot of weight due to her cancer, and there were some people who didn't know the reason why and when they commented on how great she looked and how did she do it, she'd say "The Cancer Diet."
I remember what she sounded like singing Boy From Ipanema and Windmills of Your Mind, and my favorite Satin Doll.
I remember in the weeks after she died, picking up a ringing phone still believing it was her on the other end.
I remember what she looked like dead, just like she did when she was peacefully sleeping, and I held on to her and whispered in her ear "I love you Mom.  I love you.  Everything's gonna be ok."

She never saw me pregnant.
She never heard my children's cries or laughter.
She was not there when I cried their first day of school, or when the eldest graduated high school, or the youngest Middle School.
She would never know about my cancer diagnosis, and all that came with that.

Today is my Mother's birthday, Nancy Diane, and I am missin on her tonight.  She was 46 when renal cell cancer took her life and broke our hearts, twenty one years ago.

I love you Mom.  I love you.

Everything's gonna be ok.

your deb

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

Brandy & I were just talking about birthdays of loved ones who left us too early, just before I read your post. As you know the American Cancer Society is "THE OFFICIAL SPONSOR OF MORE BIRTHDAYS." I'm going to share another saying that brings me comfort.

Those we love
don’t go away,
they walk beside us
every day
unseen, unheard
but always near
still loved, still missed
but ever dear.


Happy Birthday Nancy Diane!

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