Dear Mom: Although it’s been a while since I’ve written you a letter or sent you a card, I have some great news to share with you today. You’ve always encouraged me to write about what makes me feel passionate, or what gets get my blood boiling. I also wrote an article called Have a Great Navy Day when you and I traveled to Fleet Week to visit Don in San Fran, but that’s another story to share…
For the past eight years since we’ve last seen each other, I’ve been doing what seems to come naturally. Do you remember when I was about ten or eleven and Grandma gave me that old Underwood typewriter? After I got the hang of typing, I became the youngest publisher/editor you’d ever known, by starting The Hill Weekly. I used carbon paper to make duplicate copies of my little neighborhood newspaper, which was actually an unsophisticated gossip rag. I wrote the happenings of the week regarding what was going on with those that lived around us. I sold each copy for a dime.
You’d sent a copy of the Hill Weekly to President Kennedy and, in return, he gifted me for real autographed photos of himself and his family. I still have them tucked away in my high school yearbook, all these decades later.
In the meantime, Mom:
Joe and I recently traveled to Virginia for a family reunion and to visit friends. Your sister is about to turn 87 years young and we were also going to celebrate our cousin’s milestone birthday. I felt crazy excited to be going, because I hadn’t seen Aunt since 2009, shortly after you passed.
Over the course of the weekend, Aunt and I shared some spirited conversations about life in general and what we’d been doing since last we’d met. However, comments she made most mesmerizing were sharing how it feels to be the surviving twin, once a beloved sibling is gone. Aunt has always referred to Mom as her Womb Mate. Mom was a dependent kind of woman, while Aunt was independent and a doer. She stood close by her sister and took care of her, emotionally and financially, especially after my parents divorced. Whenever Aunt visited us, she used her gifted wit to keep us all laughing. I can’t remember a time that Aunt didn’t have Mom peeing her pants with her outrageous sense of humor.
They were two of a kind in that department, and although Mom was needy, she never lost her own good humor, or the ability to love and be loved. Mom was also a talented artist and her paintings grace the walls of every family member’s homes. That she relied on others bothered no one, because she was a shining star in her own right. So, when we arrived at my aunt’s house, I was totally taken aback with her resemblance to Mom, perhaps for the first time ever. Mom and Aunt are fraternal twins, but as they grew older, their mannerisms and speech patterns became nearly identical. It was like seeing my mother once more. The visit we had shared proved to be a powerful reminder of how much we both loved and missed Mom.
Aunt is now half of a whole and I think she may miss Mom more than I, if such a thing is possible. Those two had a special bond not everyone has the pleasure to share. They were conceived and born of one woman’s body. This makes them Womb Mates. And that’s kind of cool, when you think about it…
This is dedicated to many people, especially my mom, and for those who’ve welcomed me into their professional families as an author. I told Jacquie a few days ago our set Sweet Heat: Where Love and Suspense Meet is going live on Mom’s birthday in a few weeks. I know she’d like to shake your hands, ALL of you. Many thanks!