During my grade school years, my mother would often become frazzled by her "friend" Five by Five, as Mom called her. Mrs. Five by Five, five feet tall and five feet wide, had a homely daughter who she swore looked just like me. My mother's mama claws would flare as she'd spit out how I was so much prettier than the daughter of five by five.
I must not have been too terribly ugly because a few years after that a carload of boys stopped next to us and cat called from my passenger side window. At least I think they were hooting at me, but maybe not. For my mother hoisted her left hand into the air and yelled, "I'm married!"
"Darn it!" The boys promptly said.
Mom didn't lose her humor with age, nor did she lose her ability to spit out anyone's birthday after hearing it once. In her wheelchair, she sat in the middle of the dance floor at my daughter's Bat Mitzvah party. Goofy neon necklaces covered her head and neck but she didn't bother to remove them like most elderly people would have done. Yeah, that was Mom. She was also the lady who taught my kids how to shoot straws out of paper so they could misbehave in restaurants.
I miss you, Mom, even though I sometimes sense you telling me to be careful not to trip over broken sidewalks or other messages straight from you. Are you still here or was that one bleep of the alarm your final salute? None the less, today is the anniversary of your death, so here's to you. Did you know my mom? If so, what do you remember about her?