Friday, December 15, 2006

A Special Prayer

It’s curious how I find myself talking about my mother.

I was at a party tonight. First night of Hanukkah. Bring your family traditions, the invitation beckoned.

I found myself thinking a lot about my mother. I wanted to share pieces of her. It left some people at a loss to what to say. Not one friend. She lost her mother a couple years ago. She came and sat close and listened.

I told her how we had started going through my mother’s art and I finally said, listen, I’ll take whatever anyone doesn’t want.

She laughed and described what she thinks her kids will do with valuable items- YARD SALE!

I explained I couldn’t stand to let anything go. And honestly, I liked it all. Some pieces more than others- the x-ray of irises is still... strange. But then, my mother left it to Jeanine, the only one to walk in and say, WOW.

Everyone else said, Anne? Are ya thinking straight?

I found myself explaining to another friend who I work with, in southern accent, about a mishap at work. Nothing serious, but I wanted him to know what direction I had given to the staff.

He smiled. Where does the southern accent come from?

My mother, I smiled.

We laughed.

Did I tell so many stories about my mom before? I don’t think so. My friend didn’t know my mother was from the south. We’ve known each other for 15 years.

I turned to my friend tonight, a recent Grandmother, and said, write in the books you give. Put the date, the occasion and sign your name.

She nodded seriously. Okay. That makes sense.

It means a lot. To me. But also to them.

We all ate latkes with a Caribbean flare. Talked about kids, work, and traditions. Drank great wine. It was a warm night, and the key lime pie was a perfect ending to a winter celebration.

I talked about my mother tonight. Smiling.

Her art, her things, have now been blended into my home. The Chihuly- yes, Louise, I spelled it incorrectly before, you were right- is well balanced on it’s stand. My dog is asleep on the beautiful tribal rug. (She always picks the most expensive rug in the place to sleep on and she’s right again.)

A special prayer is read on the first night of Hanukkah. It is because it is a first- first's have special recognition.

Tonight was a first for me. Talking, in a group of people, about my mother.

With a smile on my face.


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