I’m blessed to have spent a week with mom or, as many of you know her, Dame Joan. We haven’t done a lot, frankly because she has a tough time walking for any length of time, but I think it says a lot about our relationship that we don’t have to do anything to enjoy each other’s company.
We did have dinner with my sweetheart, Robert, at one of our favorite places, Cafe Torino, and another night we dined with my dearest besties Sandra, Jenn, and Lisa at Rockwood, but for the most part we hung out. My mom with her iPad and books, me with my laptop and work. Sometimes we talked a lot, nonstop. Other times we just sat, across from each other, keeping each other company. My mom drinking her diet green tea, me drinking coffee, then water, then of course, at 5pm on the dot, wine.
She is my best friend. I can and do tell her everything.
About my sons, my job, my relationship. About my fears (of getting sick, and why wouldn’t I have such a fear? I’ve seen it happen first hand), my hopes (of doing good things with my TED Talk, of writing another book), and my crazy aversions (to buying a good set of pots and pans, I mean, I’m 57, can’t cook worth a damn, and date a man who prefers to eat out – thank God! Why would I make such an investment in a room – I believe they call it the kitchen – I spend no more time in than it takes to make and pour my coffee?)
My mom and I have always been able to spend time together, saying nothing, just sitting comfortably across from each other, doing our own thing. It has been like this since I was in high school. I’d come down to the kitchen in the morning and she’d already be at the table with her coffee and her lists, and I’d pour my coffee and sit down next to her with my lists, too. I commuted to college, so our morning “meetings” continued for those four years as well.
Then came the rest of my life. A real job. Marriage. Children. A major move to a new place. A death. A divorce. And here we are. Back where we began.
I’ve loved this week with my mom. We haven’t done a lot, and yet we’ve done so much. Talked, laughed, gossiped, shared sad stories and silly memes, reminisced about my brother David, the Christmas dinners and wonderful Saint Patrick’s Day parties we had at the house, the friends and neighbors we loved and miss. I’ve been silly and she’s responded (as she always has), “Susan, watch your mouth!” to which I’ve responded (as I always have), “Wait! I’ll get a mirror.” She even came with me to get my hair lopped off and cheered me on as I finally, after all her years of encouragement, embraced my face.
“You know,” I said, “you always told me – “
“You look better with your hair off your face,” she said.
It only took me ’til I was pushing sixty to see she was right. She’s always right. Always has been, always will be. That’s my mom. Gotta spend another week – or six – with her again soon.