Happy birthday. You would have turned 65 today, if you were still alive.
I just wanted to tell you how much I miss you. How I miss our long phone calls. How I miss your laughter. Your way of bringing people together. The way you understood people.
I miss the way - I'm almost embarrassed to admit it - that you spoiled me. I'm pretty sure that every clerk in every stores where we shopped together eventually said "can you be my mom, too?" I fought you on every purchase, because I didn't want you to blow your pin money on me. But you spoiled everyone you knew. Everybody but yourself.
My friend Kenz has this weekly blog post called "Friend Makin' Mondays." Today's post inquires what celebrity you would meet, if you could. But I wouldn't choose to have lunch with a celebrity. I'd choose to have lunch with you, if I could. So today is "Friend Missin' Monday," instead.
Now, don't get me wrong, Mom. Of course I'd invite a celebrity to lunch with us. But Richard has become more of a friend now than a celebrity to me. Do you remember using Deal-a-Meal, while I watched his TV show with you? Do you remember sweating to the oldies together? How in the world a five-year-old could fixate on the crazy guy on her mother's exercise video? How did he become her imaginary friend? I really don't know now, and I bet you didn't either, back then. But he did.
And now, as an adult, how in the world did he become my real friend? I would guess that if you had any say in the matter, it might have been your doing. Because my life has changed so much for the better since I met him. And you never told me while you were alive, but I think we both knew - I needed my life to change. Because I didn't want to end up suffering, the way you did.
We wouldn't go out to some fancy restaurant, the three of us. We'd sit together at my kitchen table, and I'd serve some of the food that Tom and I have been cooking lately. I'd show you just how amazing and delicious that healthy food can be - and how wonderful it feels to enjoy it in moderation. I'd make you beautiful fresh salads with citrus fruit and toasted almonds. I'd serve roasted carrots with rosemary, and maybe some seared scallops. We'd each have a cake pop in my latest flavor concoction, and it would be everything we needed for dessert.
Richard would talk to both of us about our eating, and about our exercise. We would discuss how we got to where we are, and how we can get to where we want to be.
In two weeks, you'll have been gone for two years. And I can't serve you that beautiful lunch today. And Richard and I can't talk to you about getting to where you want to be.
But I can make that beautiful lunch for myself. I can go to the pool and swim and swim and swim for as long as I can. I can keep learning new exercises to get stronger, new flavors to savor, new ways to express myself. I know I can get where I want to be.
I'm spoiling myself, Mom. I'm doing it for you.