In high school there were 2 girls that I hung out with regularly; one was (and still is) my biffle (A-Bear!) and the other was a girl that I am still friends with (though through Facebook as I live 4hrs away). We all had a mom, dad and brothers and loved Heath Ledger. In high school, a mutual celeb crush is almost mandatory for friendships to have any real sustainability… 😉
A few years after high school, A-Bear’s mom suffered a massive stroke and heart attack in a restaurant just down the street from where I myself was having a family get together. We lost her a few days later and I still recall the pain everyone felt from her loss. The Mimi and I attended the funeral together. She was a beautiful person inside and out and I still miss T’s beautiful voice to this day.
After falling out of touch for a few years, the other girl in our high school trio and I found one another on Facebook. Imagine my shock, sadness and absolute terror at finding that she had recently lost her mother as well. Cancer sucks, by the way. Another sweet and beautiful soul, gone. It hardly seemed fair that both of them had lost their mothers.
I called The Papa and informed him of the latest “development” and said to him, very seriously, to watch The Mimi. That if she had so much as a sniffle, he needed to take her to the emergency room. He actually laughed me off and said that I had nothing to worry about. This was a few days before Christmas Day 2007…
December 25, I was home alone in Toronto. I did not have the money to be home with my family for the holidays, nor could I afford to take the time off work. The Christmas holidays are always busy at Toys R Us, so I needed to be there to work. I was feeling pretty down and was preparing a lonely dinner for myself. I spoke to my mom around 10am, but she was distracted, busy and trying to get their own big dinner together. I remembered feeling annoyed and promised to call back later that afternoon when everyone was there so that I could speak to everyone at once. I was busy feeling sorry for myself when the time came to call. When I finally did pick up the phone (an hour later than planned), I got the answering machine (tape and all!) and left a very dejected message. I cannot describe the guilt and what-ifs that have been with me ever since.
Incredibly depressed, I logged into my MSN and my good friend, The Dad, was just getting in from doing the usual Jewish Christmas thing of Chinese food and a movie. About 2mins later, the phone rang. Having spent my entire life in Windsor, I knew the hospital number as soon as I saw it. That phone call was the end of my life as I knew it.
Here is why The Dad is The Dad today:
This man dropped everything, found our Store Director’s home number, told him what had happened and that I would not be in the next morning, drove to my apartment, helped me pack and then drove all the way down to Windsor. He met The Papa (who was so grateful to him that he could have asked for my hand in marriage right then and there and been given my dad’s blessing), refused even water, got back in his car and drove all the way back to Toronto. As exhausted as he was, he still called me after 2am when he got in so that I wouldn’t worry.
We lost my mom to a brain aneurysm, stroke & heart attack just 4 days later. The Dad, Peanut, GreenBean and Boo never met her. This past year, on the anniversary of her passing, I realized that I can no longer call the sound of her voice to mind. I miss her more than I will ever be able to put words to. Each day I wake up and promise myself that I will be the kind of mom that would make The Mimi proud. I hope and pray that I succeed.
My mom loved baking, her family, solving puzzles, sewing, needlepoint and cross stitching, Elton John, Billy Joel, CSI, cheesy romance novels and decorating for Christmas. Every year she did a beautiful village display that grew each Christmas; we always got her something to add to it.
To this day, The Beatles ‘Yesterday’ and Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ can reduce me to tears. Our hearts are emptier and our lives are missing her presence, but her memory lives on through pictures, stories and a VHS that I am very protective over.
May her memory be for a blessing.