My oldest and dearest friend’s mother passed away today. When I was growing up, they lived down the street and were a fixture in my life. She and my folks spent Friday nights playing Mah Jongg while my friend and I tiptoed to watch them around corners.
Since neither family had relatives nearby, we spent Thanksgiving and Christmas together. She would cook the turkey, mashed potatoes and some of the other fixings, while my folks would bring green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, fruit salad and pumpkin pie. The evening would always end with a Mah Jongg game.
She loved making crafts, and I still have some of the things she made. Our families would go to the drive-in movie together. She also included me in events that I wouldn’t have experienced otherwise. Crab fishing, going to a Lipizzaner Stallion show, taking me to a movie that became iconic for me, among other things.
I don’t mean to place her on a pedestal, because she was far from perfect. Her moods were legendary and unpredictable. But it’s sad, not only for her family, but to know that another door has closed on a part of my history, too.