My husband passed away before the Covid attack. There can be no funeral. The family was too scared, so I came to the house in Sag Harbor. I did what a widow usually does, played his favorite music, read his poems, and Joan Didion's "Magic Thinking Year", and put the photos on the ice box. Drink scotch whisky. He even smoked his camels from time to time.
But what helped me in the end was planting a small garden. The iris bloomed sweet purple, and the lilies of the valley exuded an intoxicating fragrance. I like it and have worn Diorissimo for many years. It always reminds me, not of Al, but of my mother. In these days, I feel very comforted. Because she loves him, and because she gave me wonderful memories of growing up during the vacation.
This year, Thanksgiving has come and gone. My huge Irish family remained silent. Christmas is the same. But the lilies of the valley brought me back to a time and place. At that time, my mother and mother were the happiest. They were in a big tiled house on Ramson Road, where she planted the valley’s flowers under the hedge in front. lily.
It was December 8th, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, and she took the three oldest girls, Mary Jane, Ann and I, to buy clothes for the holiday during our annual New York trip. We are allowed to wear a dress every two years, so the idea of finding the perfect dress is daunting. We dressed up in Sunday clothes, all wearing white gloves. I thought it was the law, you must wear gloves in the city. As of today, I am surprised by all the clothes she bought for her 12 children. No pair of white socks and gloves is ignored.
I am very happy to ride the train. We gave her all to ourselves, which is a rare thing, and then we are going to New York City, the city scenery in the distance is intoxicating. I now suspect that this was her intention, a day she and the girls concentrated on. We got off at Pennsylvania Station, New York's favorite building in the state, and followed her through the crowd under the glass dome to 34th Street, where she greeted a yellow checkered taxi. Me and I sat in a folding chair.
As she passed the church, she explained that the people outside were very poor and went there to eat. (This has been most of the years since she merged our beach clubs, which frustrated most members.) The first stop was Lord & Taylor's window and lunch in the birdcage. My mother ordered tea and small sandwiches, and the crust was cut off. I asked her why she only had cucumber and butter. "Put some salt, they are delicious", actually they are. Then, we walked along Fifth Avenue behind the duckling to Best & Co. and Bonwit Teller.
In every store, she would sit outside the dressing room, on a beautiful flower-wood chair covered with carpet, and we would try our choice, and then model her in order to hear a magic word: "Amazing!"
After shopping, we visited St. Patrick's Cathedral. There was an exhibition of wax figures, which we all found very interesting, and then we went to my mother's favorite Madonna of Guadalupe, although I don't remember why. The grandeur and beauty of the church is breathtaking. I have never seen anything like this, but in fact I prefer our small clapboard church with a statue of Mary on the left side of the altar. I often go to the statue in the church next to the school at lunchtime to pray.
We lighted candles and crossed the road to the saxophone. We found a window in the ladies' room on the eighth floor, framed a Christmas tree in the middle of Rockefeller Center, looking at the lights on the tree.
In the end, each of us held a box with the shop’s cute words (we voted Bonwit Teller’s violet vote as an unpopular collection), and then we went to Schrafft's. The waitresses wore brogues, black uniforms, and white starch collars, making them look like nuns in our school. Ann whispered, "That person looks like Sister Dora." When my mother looked at us, all of us joked and turned to greet them with her usual enthusiasm and kindness. They thought of us, and I should say here that the women whose mothers left their hometown in Ireland have been very familiar with my mother's dark Irish beauty since the past few years.
When her bread arrived, she told us what they were. Looking forward to toasting bread with honey, we are scared but satisfied with our hamburger. Then, our reaction to the wax figure exhibition made her very happy. Although she was very religious, she knew that she had a great time in the church. When she took out the powder box and put on the lipstick Revlon Cherry Flip, we knew that the day was about to end. Her hair and lipstick have not changed throughout her life.
Back home, we experienced the same ceremony of showing her our clothes. I am sure she is exhausted, but she waited patiently. She said: "Perfect for you...you look very beautiful." She was not complimented, so I will remember that it has been for many years, and I felt very loving when I slept that night, even beautiful, my beautiful blue The velvet dress hung on the closet door.
I remember the trip a long time ago, I believe she is showing us a world different from the world we know, a place so exciting, it makes you hold your breath, full of vitality and hope that your dreams come true. She is as comfortable as all different people in this world, just like ourselves.
For example, she showed us the importance of treating others with kindness and respect, discovering new things and new things, and the power of simple pleasure: a lunch of delicious little sandwiches and tea in a blue bird cage. Perhaps the most important thing is, until you find something you like, and then decide, this is your "perfect" looking "glamorous" dress. A day spent with my sister in New York, I will always remember Live and be guided by her.
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