another farewell

I’ve been thinking about many things this week, from Senate Republicans blocking a bill over the debt limit to What’s what with the Boosters to YouTube banning videos with vaccine misinformation. I have also been listening to news about the increased restrictions for women in Afghanistan and in Texas. Both are troubling and represent a major step backwards; for women in rural areas and women living in poverty these restrictions are oppressively cruel. At the same time I have been watching with wonder the green fade to gold in the maple trees surrounding my home, and there has been a healthy debate over when we will start making fires in the evening because it is getting just that chilly.

But mostly, because it is still September, the month of not only my mother’s birthday, but that of her best friend, and fortuitously my godmother’s, I am thinking of them both. Born only days apart, these two found each other at grammar school and spent the next eight decades whispering all their joys and hurts in a secret language the rest of us strained to follow. They were bold and beautiful and held us spellbound as we tried to keep up with their expectations for what a life could be.

By the time I was born, my mother’s fourth child but first daughter, Barbara had six babies. She became my godmother, but I learned early on that my role in that combo would be to join the long line of her admirers. She was soon to be the mother of eight, and in what seemed a blink a grandmother, and then the next generation had babies. Barbara was a legend for countless reasons, but from my vantage it was always because my mother adored her. My mother became a school girl around her. Chatty and silly and happy. She would go to any length to be with Barbara, and if we little ones were still in tow, inevitably they would shoo us away and a door would close between us. Theirs was always a private world. Even now, years after both their deaths, their relationship remains formidable. Lofty. Legendary. Enviable. Certainly worth remembering. This week I really only want to think of them, of their big laughs and how they endured like stars through every battle. I offer an older post here as a tribute to them both. Read on my dears. Stars for sure.

Nine Cent Girl

This photo was captured on my last afternoon with both my mother and my godmother, and it will be a precious memento for years to come. We stood on a balcony in the Palm Beach sunshine and did nothing but smile in that embrace. Now, they are both gone, but I count myself the luckiest of girls to have been with them for six decades, for their love is an epic tale.


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