Watch where you sit on the first day of school. You might be sitting next to your new best friend or your maid of honor. It happened to me it can happen to you.
As the school year begins for me and my new charges, I am reminded of that fateful day that I met my first best friend, Jackie. I was new to Brooklyn, New York and it was unlike any place that I had ever been before. Everyone looked like me. What a novelty. No one looked like me in Toronto, Canada at the time. Unfortunately, no one sounded like me in Brooklyn that day in 1971.
I had shown up that day in my prettiest dress and my white hair ribbons. My fellow classmates gazed back at me in jeans, t-shirts, and Chuck Taylors. When the teachers introduced me to the class, everyone gaped at me. Not a good start by any means. But, to add insult to injury I opened my mouth and believe me Brooklyn did not come out. It could have been a miserable time except for the kindness of friends. I met one of my dearest lifelong friends on that day, and it has made all the difference in my world. Love you, Jackie. Always will.
I leaped heart racing from my bed this morning as I forgot once again to take the house phone to bed with me. The ringing at 6 am filled me with apprehension and fear. Every between adult (one who has almost grown kids, siblings who are evolving, and ageing parents) knows the times that the phone rings only when there is an emergency. In this case the caller ID revealed that it was my mother’s cell phone.
Answering the phone with trepidation, it ushered in my mother’s frantic voice. “I dreamed that your father died and I did not know what to do”, whispered my mother. “If that happens, I will come for you”, I said assuredly. Weary and shaken, I hung up the phone after talking to my calm as the ocean dad. My mother suffers from varying stages of dementia and several things chilled me about our conversation this morning. Besides the initial fear of hearing the words that frighten me to my core was the fact that I realized, what do I do when the lion is afraid?
My mother has been the lioness of our family. There is no hesitancy in her defense , her pride, or her love of us. Recently, when my dad was mugged he laughed at the memory of my mom’s fight to defend him. That is who she is, and who she will always be for me. So, now it seems that I am the head lioness. Would that I be as valiant and lionhearted as my mother.