Things about my mother:
1. She told me to buy angel hair pasta, it's just prettier than other spaghetti's.
2. She would get dressed up, put on Bing Crosby albums, make special appetizers, and make it a special occasion to decorate the Christmas tree.
3. She thought the rise in divorce could be contributed to what women slept in. She said, "Who wants to go to bed with a woman in a t-shirt and boxers?!" She slept in a negligee every night of her married life... almost 45 years.
4. She would change her clothes, put fresh lipstick and a spray of perfume on every night about 15 minutes before my Dad came home from work. She said she was getting gussied up to impress the love of her life.
5. After dating someone for many years, she asked, casually, if I truly loved him, or I was just comfortable, and unwilling to take a chance by being alone. I broke up with my then boyfriend about a week later.
6. She told me you can never go wrong with cashmere.
7. She told me buy classic pieces, take care of them, and you'll have them forever.
8. She told me to sit up straight, shoulders back, head high.
9. She never would have allowed a plastic tablecloth on her table.
10. She loved Frank Lloyd Wright design.
11. She loved Chet Baker, Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole.
12. She worked for civil rights as a young woman in Milwaukee.
13. She met Hank Aaron.
14. She saw the Beatles walking into a hotel, and didn't think it was any big deal.
15. She couldn't do toast when she married Dad, but ended up being a fabulous cook.
16. She always said she loved Dad best.
17. She always made us go to Mass on July 4, no matter the day of the week, because we should remember how fortunate we were to live in this country.
18. She cried every time the hymns "Let There Be Peace on Earth" and "On Eagles Wings" were sung at Mass.
19. She had no voice the day after the US beat the USSR in the 1980 Olympics, from screaming so much at the TV.
20. She read everything, always. There was always a book by her side.
21. She loved answering the questions on Jeopardy. She was incredibly smart.
22. She taught me how to do the twist, "Pretend you're putting out a cigarette with one foot and drying off your bum with a towel at the same time." I was ten.
23. She made the BEST Thanksgiving dressing and potato salad. Period.
24. She always made all holidays special.
25. She always said "Put on some lipstick, you'll feel better."
My mom died suddenly on Valentine's Day night. She was a wonderful, complex woman. She was deeply in love with my Dad, and said on every anniversary that she loved him more than she did the year before. She will be missed.