Thirty-five years

If you read my post on Saturday, you know that today is the 35th anniversary of my mother’s death.  She died a few weeks before she turned 35, so she has now been dead longer than she was alive.

She missed half a lifetime.

She got the part where she grew up and went to school and got married (to an asshole) and had children.  But she missed the part where they grew up and went to school and got married (to nice men) and had children.

“How do you memorialize that anniversary?” a friend asked.

Well, I took Benjamin to camp at the Y this morning without having to yell at him (OK, just once, but it was a tiny reprimand because he was dropping sofa cushions on his sister).  On the way there, he called out over the music, “Mommy!”

“Yes, Benjamin?”

“I love you.”

“I love you, too.”


“Yes, Benjamin?”

“I still love you.”

“I still love you, too.”

I brought him into his group rather than doing curbside drop-off, as his sister had swimming right after drop-off.  He kissed me goodbye then scampered to his friends.  Then I took Lilah to the pool, which is her natural habitat.

I held her in the water while she squeezed out the plastic fishie, laughing with delight at the spray it shot out.  I tossed her in the air, held her while she kicked, and giggled with her.

I spent the morning in the moment.  That’s how I memorialized the anniversary.

Now, go.  Go squeeze a plastic fishie with someone you love.

7 responses to “Thirty-five years

  1. I will certainly squeeze my little girl when I get home. Love to you, Emily.

  2. Emily, we shared an office for what – 5 years? And I never knew about this part of your life. Thanks for posting this – a simple, but very important reminder.

  3. Our fishie and ducky will squirt out a toast to you, your girl, and your mom tonight, Em.

  4. Julian Johannesen

    that was sweet.

  5. Wonderful post

  6. being the mother you didn’t have is the best way to honor your mother. I’m sure that when you were a tiny baby in your arms she imagined some day that you would have children of your own. her grandchildren. She can’t hold them and love them, but you can hold them and love them for her.

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