The last time I saw my mother alive was one year ago today. We had pizza at her favorite place with two other ladies who were her best friends. She died exactly one week later.
While we had our differences, our relationship had quite possibly reached the pinnacle of cohesiveness for us and I still miss her saucy personality. Her humor came out in sharp bursts, meaning you’d never know when or how much it would sting.
Routinely, when my brother and I were little – like 5-6 years old little – she hid behind the shower curtain, lying in wait for us to use the restroom. Then she’d rip it back and yell “BOO!” While I was scarred for life, I then practiced the same on my children with the same outcome: Pure Fear.
I learned later in life that we’d eaten various critters. My father was a hunter. If it moved, he killed it. So we apparently dined on delicacies such as venison, quail and wild turkey. Not so bad, but then we found out about the squirrel, rabbit, raccoon, frog and dove. All tastes like chicken when it’s fried to death. We also tried shark, dolphin and stingray. Some of this must have or should have been illegal. My mother admitted she’d put it on the table and watch us to see our reactions. She said it was a letdown every time we had none.
I had a car crash in 1999 where the airbag hit my open eyes so she came to “take care of me “. The day after the wreck, I had a doctor’s appointment to assess the damage. Because I was blinded, she had to guide me…right into a curb, a No Parking sign, and then into a chair. I, thankfully, was medicated. During the paperwork intake, she asked me questions such as my weight, insurance information, etc. Then she asked my favorite color. Huh? And did I know what I was wearing. I seriously thought these were on the questionnaire, but they weren’t and the other patients knew. She kept up with these odd questions until I caught on. Remember…I was medicated. The only solace I receive is that she probably peed herself while laughing her ass off.
On September 5, 2012, she announced during pizza that she was planning a 45th Anniversary Party for my father and herself a week later. It was at a local Mexican place they loved, and she had all the details worked out except the dessert. She asked me to bake my world-famous Red Velvet Cupcakes with cream cheese icing. While she and my father are diabetic, she wanted everyone to enjoy them. I was honored and bought all the ingredients. The next Wednesday, she suddenly passed away, just four days before the party which was also her anniversary.
My brother wrote her eulogy which was read by the priest. It was hilarious, and included the fact that her nemesis was Bobby Flay. “He’s so arrogant!” he wrote. I never knew this, but it sounds just like my mom. Opinionated, sharp and completely off her rocker.