As I sit on my deck on this beautiful summer day, I’ve got a lump in my throat, it’s hard to swallow. You know what I mean. When you are about to let the flood gates open for a good cry. This day, you see, is very much like any other day when Mary was here, right next door. I would hear the squeak of her back door and we’d talk over the fence for a minute, then decide to either sit on her patio or on our deck to enjoy conversation and an afternoon cocktail. Kathy, my other good friend on the opposite side of Mary, would join in too. We were three peas in a pod.
Since Mary’s passing, I’ve desperately wanted to write about her, but couldn’t find the words. Or, most likely, it was too soon to write about it. She passed away October 29th, 2011. Today is the day I write about my friend.
I think about her daily, but I especially thought of her while writing my last post. Food Talk. I spoke of foods and memories of our favorites and precious traditions we hold onto from the past. This photograph is of Mary’s 71st birthday, the last one we’d share with our dear friend. It was a tradition to have Mary over for dinner for her favorite meal of mine, Panko and Herb Encrusted Tilapia. I served it religiously with red skinned mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach. There was birthday cake too, of course…..
Mary spoke of the birthday cakes her “Ma” made for each sibling. The type of cake never changed, they would have their favorite every year, religiously. I don’t remember when I started making Mary’s favorite, but I do remember the last two very vividly. I made dinner and cake for her 70th birthday hoping that she would be around for her 71st. On her 71st birthday I was quite sure this would be the last I would spend with my friend.
Mary was not terribly fond of desserts or sweets so when she described her traditional birthday cake growing up with a look of total delight on her face, it was a done deal. I had to make it. It was a basic angel food cake with pink icing and big ripe strawberries. Simple and sweet. To this day, whenever I see an angel food cake, I think of Mary.
I feel truly blessed to have had such a wonderful and true friend. She was like a second mother to me. She was one of the most trusted friends I’ve ever had. I miss her so much. My whole family feels a tremendous loss. Jack, Chris and Ryan grew up with Mary next door, she was like a grandma to them.
Make your kid’s or your friend’s favorites when you can. It’ll make you both feel wonderful, you’ll be so happy you did.
Have a nice weekend.