With all the excitement of big brothers costuming themselves, I announced to my mother I wanted to dress up, too. What did I want to be? A Mommy, came the reply.
"Oh", my mother said. "What does a Mommy wear?"
"Pearls, a hat and white gloves," I confidently answered. "And she has a baby."
Bless my mama's heart -- she helped me be a Mommy.
This morning, as I woke up remembering Ruthe, I wanted to do something special to honor her. My white gloves are soiled, and my hats aren't the sort the 3 year old me had in mind, and my baby is a young man out at Stanford, but I have pearls, my mama's pearls that we kids gave to her on her 63rd birthday, a few years after my father died. She had always wanted real pearls, but had wanted my father to buy them for her. His mother had once given her pearls, and she'd returned them, saying that she would wait for her husband to give them to her. Well, he somehow missed the memo, because she never got them. We kids decided to each use some of our inheritance to buy her pearls from Eli. I'd say in the 25 years she had to wear them, they were her most worn piece of jewelry. When I turned 50, she gave them to me, with the understanding that they were her's until she died, then they were mine.
So this fine September day, I am wearing my Mommy Pearls. I may be in jeans and a tee shirt but I've got my pearls. I wore them to breakfast, to Belly Dancing, to Yoga, to grocery shopping, to releasing BookCrossing books, and maybe even in my bath tonight. I wear them in remembrance of beautiful bumma, the remarkable Ruthe, who I am privileged to call both mother and friend.
(*Edited to note that there is a picture of Eric as a snake charmer that year, but I can't find one of the mummy boy, so still don't know if it was Jimmy that year, or Eric another year. Could have been either. My brothers both got the creativity gene.)