You would have been 72 years old yesterday. I bet you would have been a smoking hot 72 year old. I can picture you right now in my imagination, with a cute little bob that you would have kept a couple years after your hair grew back. You’d be adorned in funky earrings and a preppy little outfit of some kind. You’d of course have some blush, mascara and a little bit of lipstick, because no lady leaves the house without makeup. Your skin would be smooth and soft. You would have a small smile on your face and expectant eyes, as you usually did when about to go on an adventure. You would walk with a purposeful stride, with a giant purse on one shoulder, filled with everything from kleenex to scissors (because you never know…)
Unlike some women your age, you would be eager to celebrate this birthday. One more year of stunning life. One more year of laughter and weirdness and some pain mixed in (because you of all people know that pain is part of what makes life rich). One more year cancer free.
You would be on your way to meet family or friends, to enjoy good wine, eat dessert first (because it’s the only part of the meal that really matters), indulge in some funny stories and memories of days gone by, and plan more interesting days to come. You would be adamant to not miss one second of it all. You learned your lesson long ago that life is too precious to spend much time in despair or lethargy.
You would go out for a walk with our next door neighbor, Pat, and watch the sunset. You and Camille would probably have a glass of wine together and catch up on gossip. You and Aunt Kathy and Aunt Carol would chat on the phone and catch up, busting up at some joke with that Bruski girl cackle.
You would pick up the phone when I called you and we’d talk and argue and laugh and plan your next visit to see your granddaughter.
I would tell you about the dreams I had where I thought you had died, and you would smile at me and say, “Honey, I’ve always been here.”
Sometimes I guess I just need you to remind me. Happy birthday, Mom.