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Our eyes were watching God; And you slipped out for a meatball grinder*

Mom_0001.jpg* Or "sub," or "hoagie," or "hero".  We call them "grinders."

The solemn watch had been kept.  Ever since the call went out first thing in the morning, we arrived and assembled.  One.  Then two more.  The fourth.  Then all five.  Our Uncle, your big brother arrived; looking more stricken than we seemed to feel at the time.  Perhaps because he was shouldering our burden, too... that day. 

That.  Day.

The first-born son of your first-born son, at 16 months, played with a choo-choo on the polished slate-like floor, just inches from your bedside.  Running; squealing; making echoes down the cavernous hallway; yet slightly jumpy from the different kind of energy coursing through the "grownups" and suddenly missing from you. 

That.  Day.  The last day the "grownups" would be children. 

Day passes to twilight.  A shattered brother says goodbye.  Then, a suddenly wary grandson is lifted up by his father "Superman style" to leave you a kiss; and upon being moved into a low hover drops his head to lay cheek upon cheek.  His father nearly loses his grip from the blow, but recovers.  (I almost didn't.)  "He knows.  I don't know how, but he knows."

Night closes in.  The five draw together 'round the One. 

Six o-clock.  Seven.  Seven-thirty.  Seven-forty.  Seven-forty-five.  

Your third child.  The second son.  The Beloved One... volunteers to run out to pick up the meatball grinders we ordered. 


"It's okay, Tommy." 

"Yeah, I know.  I'll be right back.  It's just around the corner."

Seven fifty-five.

366478-259377-thumbnail.jpgThe beloved one exits, stage left.  The four draw closer.  Our eyes are watching God...

... And you slip out for a meatball grinder. 

Followed him right out the door, didn't you?  Oh, that was classic!  We should have seen it coming.  I think somehow Tommy did all along.       


Happy Birthday, Mom.


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Reader Comments (2)

This made me cry. I know about "the last day the "grownups" would be children, too. You write about it better than I could.
February 3, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteramanda b
I hate you for posting that photo of French Bread Pizza. That stuff is my downfall, my sweetest downfall. Now all day I will think of that pizza and of you. Have a great one.
February 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterStephanieKlein

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