This Mother’s Day, 2016, marks the eleventh one without Mama Jo. It’s always been tinged with sadness since her passing, but this one will be particularly hard. I recently completed reading and editing the audiobook of When I Married My Mother. I read it once. Didn’t like the way I did my mother’s parts. Re-read them and it was like I was, I swear, channeling her. I listened to all nine hours four times to get them just right. Every single time, when I reached the end, it was as though I was losing her all over again. I was wiped out. Immobilized.
And yet, every time I read through it I also laughed and laughed. Oh, what a crazy story! What fun we had. Did I really do that? Did my brother and I and his wife clean out that horrible house? Did I fall in love with the Damn Dolls? Were they truly some of the best years of my life? Absolutely. Still. I’ll never experience anything like it again.
At least I had it once. I wonder what would have happened if I had not taken that leap of faith and left New York City to take care of her. Never in a million years did I think I would move to North Carolina and stay. But I did and I’m a better person for it.
Thank you, Mama Jo. What I would give to hold your hand one more time. Or hear you say, “Bye, now.”