Mothers and daughters. Connected and bound so tightly but fraught with tension, contempt and disappointment. I miss you so much, my only mother, and want you to know that although you're gone, my love grows more everyday. No pictures or emojis here folks.
  1. Seeing the apricots today, I remember the three you packed in my lunch for the field trip to the dairy. Like it was yesterday.
  2. You didn't drive my dad away.
    Actually you protected my bond, hero worship and love for him. The cost? You let me go on believing you were to blame until I was old enough to hear the whole truth.
  3. You said I was intolerant.
    I was strong and outspoken. I thought you were weak and woefully lacking in self esteem. Why did you marry my lousy stepdad? Why didn't you try to get a better job? Why did you get sick all the time? Sometimes I was awful to you. I'm SO sorry.
  4. Private school when we could not afford it.
    When dad got sick, you went to work, your first job ever outside the home. The idyllic house in the suburbs was sold. The duplex we lived in was so small, the king size bed prevented the closet to open fully. You sacrificed so much to keep your two girls in the school they had known since kindergarten. Why did I not see this before?
  5. You were the original maker.
    Everyone used to tease you about your lists. How many oranges you harvested from your tree every year since it first bore fruit. Your weight for 20+ years. The books you read. The birthday gifts you received, what was in your freezer and the Martha Stewart recipes you'd made.
  6. Your offbeat gifts we scratched our heads over.
    Mom, you were the earliest, early adopter of our entire extended family. Ok, maybe most of them were from "As Seen On TV" but the Recorder Key chain, the Pasta cooker with built in colander, the twisting nutcracker and so many more. It wasn't a lazy or default action when you gave the same thing to everyone because you ALSO bought one for yourself.
  7. When you played games with us, you played to WIN.
    One area in your life where you were the most confident was during board games, card games, badminton & volleyball. You made us work as hard as you did and we were better for it. My mom was not only good at all games, she killed at Trivial Pursuit AND conquered Rubik's cube. What 70 year old does that??!
  8. Became a LA Laker fan late in life.
    We don't know how, why or exactly what prompted my 65 year old mother to suddenly become a basketball fan. She watched every game, kept her little list of stats, had crushes on various players and went to games at the Staples center. I still love that about her.
  9. Knott's Berry Farm was where you worked.
    Virginia's Gift Shop specifically. It was a lousy paying job. I know you only had a high school diploma but I never could figure out why you didn't try for something better. You were very smart so you probably realized, no credentials, no advancement. But now? I think you had a great job, a fun job and you loved it.
  10. Thank you for always being proud of me.
    Once I was considering changing careers out of banking. She told me how proud she always was to say her daughter was a bank manager. It's not that great but SHE thought it was and that's the important part.