Monday, December 28, 2015

Leonard Cohen - Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye

It feels like there was so much loss this year.  But when I look back I really only ("only") lost my relationship with Boston and my Nany passed away.

If I had it to do again, if I had known it would be my last conversation with Boston, I probably would've said a lot of mean-spirited and over-dramatic things.  Things he would have hated to hear.  Maybe that's why he doesn't pick up the phone anymore.  He was the first one to point out that I can be incredibly cruel when I'm hurt (flaw #1983).  But I would have said a million soft things too.  About how he saved me by teaching me I could save myself.  About how he showed me the light and the way out of a terrible marriage.  About how grateful I was for him loving my boys.  About how I wanted to always be his friend because there were jokes only HE would get (sexy chipmunk man?) and no one would ever listen to me rant politically the way he did.  About how he was the very first person to say "smart" when he described me to other people.  And how special that made me feel.  About how I would always love him in a way I could never love anyone else.  About how I hear in my head a thousand times a day, in that stupid accent, running commentary on things I read or watch or say, etc.  Just that I would always love him. I would whisper it over and over so he would always know there was someone who did.  I wouldn't do silence as our final goodbye.

If I had it to do again, if I had known it would be the last time I would talk to my Nany, I would ask her approximately 4790 questions.  How do you make Heavenly Hash?  Why is it better than all the fruit salad on the planet?  How did she keep going on, carrying around her love for Eddie in her heart?  How did she keep laughing after all that had been done to her?   Why were Jonna and I in that raft singing "Key Largo" in the living room?  What was the key to surviving all she had been through?  Would I make it?  Did I have her true grit?  Would I ever be the kind of woman and mother and person she was?  How?  I would tell her that my boys carry her twinkle of laughter in their eyes, that it's impossible that it's genetic, but somehow it just is.  I would tell her that I never could have come this far without her.  That her and my Jersey Mama somehow saved me from whatever trauma I went through and pulled me out the other side, not much worse for the wear.  I would tell her I loved her until I couldn't breathe anymore.  We would all get on the phone and chant it like a mantra.  She would scold me for crying and insist we laugh at something.  She would tell me to keep trying to get Joshie Mark on Ellen.  She would tell me just to keep putting one foot in front of another and when all else fails, put on a movie for the kids and take a hot bath, they'll be fine Erica.  She would tell me I was stronger than I knew, she would tell me to take care of Cassie and Jonna and tell them to take care of me. And through it all I would just keep whispering, with my kids, "I love you, Nany".

But we don't get to know when the last time we talk to a person will be.  So, I suppose we should act like each time is the last time and mind our tongues (I'm talking to myself here, Hurt and Mean Eri).

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