I was in my teens. My boyfriend of 4 years, Jerry Esposito, had broken up with me and I was very depressed.
I walked in on my mother while she was taking a bath.
“Ma, I think I want to see a therapist.”
She didn’t miss a beat.
“Why? He’ll just tell you what I’ve been telling you for years. You’re too fresh”
I shrugged and backed out.
The night before my wedding my mother called me into her room.
“Get me my jewelry box.”
“Yay” I said to myself.
My mother had really nice jewelry and she was clearly going to give me something.
I sat on the bed and watched while she opened the box and examined each piece carefully.
Then she closed the box, got up and put it back on her dresser.
I realized she liked all of it more than she thought she did .
I just shrugged and backed out.
I was about 7.
The doorbell rang.
I hid behind my mother’s legs while my two friends, Annie and Teresa in unison tattled on me.
“Mattie tore the sash of Annie’s dress”
“I’ll talk to her”
I was more than a little nervous.
She closed the door, looked down at me, patted me on the head and said
I was in the third grade.
The class was lining up to go out to lunch.
I got yelled out for talking. Miss Lynch said she would keep me in for lunch.
I wasn’t a thin child plus my mother was waiting outside to take me home to eat so missing lunch was catastrophic.
The line was dismissed and I left with them.
When I got to my mothers car I burst into tears.
“Miss Lynch said she was going to keep me in for lunch” I sobbed.
My mother got out of the car and grabbed my wrist and walked quickly towards the school.
“Who does she think she is? I’ll wipe up the floor with her.”
I will never forget those words.
My mother was a force to be reckoned with.
She was almost 6 feet tall (everyone in my family is except me. I could never reach the wall phone. My mother used to say she made me with leftovers.)
Anyway back to the drama.
Miss Lynch turned white as my mother entered P.S. 81.
“Mattie said you were going to keep her in for lunch.”
“Oh no no.” she said smiling. “She’s just a little talkative. I wouldn’t do that.” She patted me on the cheek.
Home we went for my delicious soggy tomato sandwich.
When it was time to go back to school I told my mother I was scared to go back after the incident.
“Don’t worry. Here’s a bag of tootsie rolls for the class”
I slunk in the classroom (is that a word?) and walked up to Miss Lynch and quietly mumbled
“My mother sent these tootsie rolls for the class”
I expected anything but her reaction.
“How nice. You can give them out but first let me taste one to make sure they’re as good as they look” and she winked.
It was at that moment I knew my mother was all powerful.
My mother wearing some of her very nice jewelry.
She both scared me and made me laugh more than any person I’ve ever known.
I miss her every day.