Thursday, July 20, 2006

Time wounds all heals

Dear readers, please forgive me for not updating my blog recently. Yours Truly was in New York for almost a week at the end of June for my cousin Larry's wedding. A few days after returning home, one of my very best friends from my childhood arrived in LA for a five-day visit. After (sadly) shipping her back to New York, I came back to total mayhem at work. We've been super busy and I haven't had a lot of free time! I'm pooped.

I'm writing a short post today to commemorate the life of my mom, who passed away six years ago tonight. The photo at left is of the two of us on the eve of my first Christmas, 1972 (check the white Christmas tree! Stylin'). My mother was loving, she was dynamic, and as you can see from the picture, she was gorgeous, as red as redheads can get. She was a fantastic wife, a tough mom and a good friend, too. I owe her a great deal; she taught me to work to my potential, she taught me to tell it like it is, she taught me to stand up for myself, and she taught me how to properly use an eyelash curler. She believed in hard work, lots of love and a little bit of mascara.

Now let me climb up on a soapbox for a minute. Readers, my vibrant mother died of lung cancer. She smoked for 20 years, only giving it up when the family doctor told her that my younger sister had asthma. Mom was 35 at the time. She quit cold turkey, and lord, it was hard on her; she had been very psychologically dependent on cigarettes (they relaxed her). We were dealing with a very highly-strung Mom for a few months there, but she never smoked another cigarette. Not one. She did, however, develop a rather extreme lipstick fetish. She had the largest collection of lipsticks ever amassed by any woman in history - the L'Oreal warehouse doesn't contain as many lipsticks as our master bathroom once had. I always teased her that she'd just replaced one oral fixation with another. Well, lipstick smells better than cigarettes!

Fast forward 15 years to January 2000 - my mother thought she was experiencing severe allergies. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the age of 50, and was gone only seven months later. I was 28; my sister was 23. Mom thanked god that she had been able to see her children grow up. She had always maintained that she'd only quit smoking for her children's health; she wouldn't have done it for herself. I shudder to think what might have happened if she hadn't quit when she did. Would I have lost her when I was in high school? In college? I can't imagine it. I still can't believe it's been six years since she left us.

I'm going out tonight with my friend Melissa to have some tiramisu and to toast the life of a great lady. I'll be back soon with another one of my stories. It'll be long, and I promise, it won't disappoint.

Till then, god bless, and if it's at all possible, don't smoke!

17 Comments:

Anonymous gustav said...

sounds like an amazig woman...

4:03 AM  
Anonymous gustav said...

*amazing

4:03 AM  
Blogger Linnaeus said...

Well, Ging, if you're any measure of your mother, I'd say she accomplished quite a bit. :)

And please forgive me if Larry's wedding reminded me of Young MC's "Bust A Move": "Your best friend Harry has a brother Larry/85 days from now he's gonna marry..."

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AND WHAT A WONDERFUL SISTER SHE WAS, SO MUCH FUN, I STILL MISS HER SO! MAR MAR

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ginger, the sixth anniversary of my mother's death was a month ago. She was 58, and died of lung cancer. She was a pack-a-day smoker from 19 to 57.

Sorry for your loss.

Thomas

2:34 PM  
Blogger Ginger said...

Thanks for the kind words everyone; I really appreciate it!

4:58 PM  
Blogger SuziQ71 said...

Your mom was absolutely wonderful. She was like another mom to me.I miss her very much. I remember all the fun times we had, like when going to a concert, she advised us, "Don't forget to throw your underwear onstage for Simon!" She was so funny and it was just wonderful to be around her, she always kept us laughing.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Ethan W said...

I love your story. I am going to jump in the airplane tomorrow and go hug my MOM.
It sucks to have your parents on a diferent continent not being able to see or hug them every day :(

I really miss my parents.

Ethan

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Casey said...

I love tiramisu, it looks good on me too! Sorry for your loss of your Mom, I lost mine also in 1996 to lung cancer and she never smoked in her life, but she did work around it (back in the day) when, for some unknown reason, you could still smoke IN THE HOSPITAL, which is where she worked. Plus, my dad smoked since he was 12 and died also of lung cancer at 87. My dad was 47 when I was born, how's that? Crazy, hmmm, and my Mom was 27, go figure. So I think my mom would vote yes on second hand smoke kills. Anyway, your mom sounds cool. Thanks for sharing.

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