Today is my mother's 75th birthday. She just missed it by five weeks.
She was not looking forward to being 75. She only liked the even-numbered birthdays and would pretty much white knuckle her way through the odd-numbered ones.
The picture is me (the screaming newborn) with my freshly minted, ridiculously young parents. They were both 24 and every bit as terrified as Mr. Smith and I were at almost 40.
My mother loved babies. And they loved her right back. More than once I was out with her and a perfect stranger's baby would reach for my mother. And more than once, I watched my mother oblige by taking that baby like it was one of her own. She always said it was the white hair, but it was more than that. They knew she was safe and she could be trusted.
My head understands that she is gone. I can't call her and tell her the latest hilarious thing Grand Master H told us or how beautiful Famous Baby C looked on Easter in her new dress. We can't watch the birds do all their antics in the backyard anymore or wonder what in the hell our neighbors were doing in their driveway, working on their truck at 10:30 last night.
My heart still hasn't accepted any of this. My heart still hurts from missing her.