Today is my Ma’s birthday. She would be 73 today.
73. Holy cow.
She was 51 when she died, so i can’t even picture her as past middle age.
I wonder if she would be the type to lie about her age? Would she swear she was 49? Or would she steal Sophia Loren’s tactic and tell everyone she’s 85, so they’ll think she looks unbelievable for her age? Or maybe she’d just say it. “I’m 73, ” with an unspoken, “And eff you if you have a problem with it, ” behind it.
I don’t know.
Would she have stopped dying her signature red hair and let the gray come in? Short and pretty and wavy, tho undeniably gray? The pewter buzz she sported after the chemo actually was pretty flattering on her. Maybe she would have kept it. Or maybe, after seeing my oldest’s new galaxy hair, she would have gone out and gotten it done up for real. Plum and purple and blue and green. The Cora-lee Nebula. She could have pulled it off. She had the chutzpah.
I don’t know.
There is a lot i don’t know about her. A lot i don’t understand about her. And i hate not having the chance to find out.
But there are some things i DO know about her. Things that, even tho she never got a chance to do, i am certain would have become truth for her.
I am certain she would be proud of my sister and i. We have done well. Our weedlings are pretty awesome too, and she would be so in love with them. And the beautiful great-grand-daughter that my niece has blessed the family with? I think Ma would have her as a personal pet. Our whole family has grown and grown up and found their stride. She’d be so proud of all of us. Ma would be one hell of a colorful matriarch, and full of joy for how wonderful the family turned out.
I am certain my Ma would still be chemical free. Her sobriety was important to her, and she made it her mission to play Pied Piper and lead others to a cleaner path. She was put here on this Earth to be that shepherd. It was evident. It was inevitable. And it would have continued.
I am certain she’d be feeling the Bern, tho i’ll bet she’d secretly have the hots for Trump.
I am certain she’d be lamenting the end of American Idol. And that she’d own the entire Shrek franchise on dvd.
I am certain she’d be delighted at the bawdy antics of Betty White.
I am certain she’d still be the same big-hearted, larger-than-life, joyously funny, universally accepting, hot-flash mess that she was.
And i miss her.
God, i miss her.
Happy birthday, Ma. Your legacy lives on. You did good.