It is July 6. Two days post-independence.
I’m sitting in a hotel room, contemplating yesterday, the day ahead, and bits and pieces of life over the last 46 years. That’s a lot.
I’m thinking about my step-daughters and wondering how they are doing. I’m thinking about my nieces – and again – wondering how they are doing.
I’m thinking about my husband and my brothers. About friends I had in college. And I’m wondering: Why are all these people dancing around in my brain right now? Is it because I’m alone in a quiet hotel room, and it’s still early enough in the day that my mind is clean and fresh?
Or, do I always have all this going on up there, and today is only different in that I’m actually recognizing the cognitive activity.
It’s an odd feeling. — Like I want to touch base RIGHT THIS MINUTE with these 30+ people and make sure everything is good.
I’ve been thinking about my mom a lot too. But I always do.
She passed away in 2013. She was taken from us long before I even contemplated that as a possibility.
But what specifically I’m thinking about is the day mom and I were in her car, and she was telling me about a book she had just read.
I want to read that book now.
I remember a few of the details. Someone was pregnant. There was a yard sale. And I think an attic was involved. So I googled: “mystery book pregnant yard sale attic”. And guess what. This book popped up: Never Tell a Lie, by Hallie Ephron.
After reading the book’s description, I started remembering more of what mom said, and I know for sure that it is the same book she was talking about.
So I bought it online. Not the Kindle version, but the hardback version. It will be here on Wednesday.
I will read it and then keep it on my bookshelf, for like, forever.
I don’t care if the book is awful, stupid, horribly written, or horribly plotted. I want the book no matter what.
Mom was so good at talking about books and movies. She went into such detail. A true storyteller in her own right. She would have been a great writer, but who has time when you read as much as she did.
After mom died, my brother Paul came to me with a book. It was Wallace Stegner’s Angle of Repose. He found it in mom’s car.
I had given her that book months earlier, telling her how wonderful it was, and asking her to read it too. At one point, she had told me that she was having trouble “getting into it.” But I guess she had moved past that because it was in her car on the day she died.
The sad thing, amongst all the other sad things there are in losing a mom, is that she had it bookmarked with a piece of scrap paper. One day, a few years ago, I dropped the book and the scrap paper fell out. I was so upset because it noted the page where she had left off, and there is no way of getting that piece of information back.
Now, here I am, still teary-eyed over that stupid bookmark. All this time later.
Stupid, quiet hotel room is messing with my mind. So I’m going to end this blog here, and encourage everyone to love their moms and appreciate every moment with them that you can. Because the day is going to come when the little things, like talking about books, won’t happen anymore. And you will miss that. And nothing will or can quite replace it.
I’m heading to an RV park in a couple of hours. I will busy myself with setting up my little van-home and get out in nature, and hopefully think on happier things.
As always, safe travels everyone. Summer is special. Let’s not take it for granted either. Bye for now!
Oh Susan! You have me in tears as well! Your mom was a lovely woman; so interesting, intelligent, articulate, and kind. (The Susan apple did not fall far from the tree!). I am glad to have had the privilege of knowing her (and so fitting that it was through a book club, right?) I understand your feeling about dropping the bookmark and losing her place in the book. But, still, you have so many memories to keep you connected. Thanks for sharing, and thanks for reminding us all to be mindful and cherish what is here and now. XOXO
She was crazy about you! Always wanted to know how you were and what you were up to. ? I’m so thankful you knew each other. – That means a lot to me!! And, yes, it’s wonderfully fitting that you knew each other through the book club. Thanks for reading this and always being there!
Beautifully written, as always. If I’d been there in that stupid quiet hotel room I’d have given you the biggest hug. Love you!
Thank YOU, Maria! Wish you could have known her better and she you and the girls and the grandkids. Love you!