Sunday, November 28, 2010
My mother was a Lady
We were in the midst of the first day of cleaning up somethings at my mothers house when my cousin Betty said that she would work on Mom's clothing while I started on the paperwork. After about an hour, I got bored looking at the shopping bags of old bills, and I decided to tackle the master bathroom.
When Betty saw what I was doing, she got this alarmed look on face.
"What are you doing?" she asked with an odd urgency in her voice.
Betty came over to me and said "I'll take care of this, why don't you work in the office."
No, I felt I could do this, and I was tired of looking at papers. After some back and forth, she got the idea that I couldn't be diverted, and then she said "I just don't want you to find anything that might upset you."
Having been through the past two months, losing my mother and then other stuff happening, I just said "Like?"
Betty, who has been like a sister to me said: "I just wanted to save you from finding something that would taint your memory of you mother."
Now I was really confused.
Did she know something about my Mom that I didn't know? Evidently I had a look on my face that was like someone had just smacked me upside my head with a cast iron pan. I wasn't reading between the lines. I wasn't picking up on what she was laying down. I wasn't smelling what she was shitting.
"Your Mom...how do I say this," she looked genuinely vexed on finding the words. Then she blurted out: "Your mother was a Lady!"
Now I was lost. My mother had never had a title of peerage, either by birth or marriage, so technically, she wasn't a Lady, but she was a "lady" and carried herself very well.
"What I meant, is, that, your mother was a...WOMAN. She may have had needs. I don't want you to come across something that could confuse you about how she was your mom, but she was a woman, first."
The light went on inside my head where my brain should be, and I felt a pang in my heart.
Poor Betty. God love her; she was trying so hard to dance around it, she was stepping right in the Cow Cow Boogie, as we say back home.
"You mean," I said, "you didn't want me to find the Rabbit?"
There was a pregnant pause. "You found a vibrator? Really? How do you know about those things?"
No, I didn't find any such thing. Seriously, I hadn't. And had I found such a thing, I would have done the gentlemanly thing and discreetly disposed of it and kept quiet about it. Had I found such a thing, I wouldn't be writing about it, because I would have been playing dumb. Somethings are personal, you know.
But since I didn't find anything like that, I can tell you that none existed. My mother's reputation is unsullied.
The thing is, I love Betty - she really is like my sister.
Not just because of this moment, but because she is a good person. She stuck with me all through the hours the night Mom died. That's when you can tell who loves you for who you are. They stand by you. And they're willing to take the "bullet", so to speak, out from a secret hiding place if one had been discovered. And I love her because she thought that, up until that point, I was still innocent.
And she didn't want anything to spoil my memories of my mother. Not that anything could. Still, its good to know that I have her watching my back.