If I could have had anyone…(on Mother’s Day)

…I would have had you.

Mother’s Day in my dreams

But, of course, you’re too young to be my mother.  And so you are my friend.

And you have mothered me, mentored me, loved me and taught me.  I look at you and know that if there is anyone in the world who loves me unconditionally, it is you.  If I killed my husband, sold the house to buy cocaine, abandoned my children or ran naked down Main Street before turning  left to your house; you would answer the door, listen and say, “Oh, Dear, what are we going to do now?”

When I look at your lovely face I understand that I can be beautiful as I age.  When I hear you laughing about not remembering, I know that losing my mind is not a sorrow, but a possibility.

You taught me to be a loving mother.  You chided me into being a caring daughter.  You were my role model in marriage, friendship and moving through life with grace and courage.

It has been a wonderful journey thus far.  We have seen the prehistoric caves in France. We have toasted the strange little men with paunchy bellies and berets in Murcia, Spain when we were the only women in the bar.  We have lost each other on the streets of Paris. We have celebrated your birthday at a hootchie-cootchie show in Athens and then finished by laughing and drinking Metaxa with the desk clerk until 3:00 a.m. We  have listened blissfully to the opera in Madrid, Florence and New York.

Of all of our years together the most precious of all memories are the nights we sat talking until dawn.  I would run across the street to your house, or you to mine.  Our husbands and children were asleep.  We would talk.  We would laugh.  We would cry.  And we would hear the birds singing and realize that we must run to our stations and be prepared for the day.  I can’t remember what is was that was so compelling that we must spend the entire night.  I only remember the warm glow of your love and acceptance.

I am absolutely sure of you.  You will always take my call.  You always SEE me.  I know that you will not judge me.  I know that your face will light with joy when I approach you.

Happy Birthday.  Happy Mother’s Day.

Happy Happy  Happy!

That’s what I am when I think of you.


Originally published May 11, 2012

2017: My friend is now deep into dementia. Still, when I visit her we look at each other with abiding love and joy.



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