Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Although I have not seen Lillian for just under 23 years, I dreamed about her last night.

Lillian read The Boston Globe.

My mother read the Herald.

Lillian wondered how the Kennedys hid their wings and halo.

My mother was sure if as reporter, she dug deep enough she would find their signed copy of their pact with the devil.

She was my mother's good, good friend from secretarial school days in the late 1930s, an unlikely pair agreeing on almost nothing.

My daughter and I found Lillian marching with us at a pro-choice parade.

My mother was pro-life.

Still they loved each other.

My mother was divorced, Lillian a widow waking to find her lifeless body of her husband next to her.

I loved Lillian's visits, because both women would giggle and play "remember when" while creating more memories. She always pronounced my mother's name as Door-a-thee drawing out the last two syllables.

Lillian had what she called "milk bottle legs" and said if she were ever a double amputee she would tell people her legs were more beautiful than Ginger Rogers. 

Even if their sixties they would escape for a girls weekend at the Stage Neck Inn on the Maine Coast.

Lillian traveled far and wide while mother would only travel to places that could be reached without a tunnel or a bridge.

She had us enthralled with her tales of her visit to Ireland. "A man in a pub raved about my hair and asked me to sleep with him, she told us. My mother, who told me that even after marriage, if my husband respected me he wouldn't want to sleep with me very often," gasped.

"Did you?" I asked the question my mother was afraid to.

As she shook her head no, my mother looked relieved. Then Lillian added, "He raved about my hair and I didn't want him to know it was a wig."

I last saw Lillian on a trip to Boston in 1993. Her small apartment was immaculate and filled with touches that made me know it was her home. She produced a tea pot and some cake as we talked about her recent breast surgery which did not seem to upset her all that much. In her eighties breasts just were not all the necessary.

With only nieces whom I never met, no one notified me when she died. It is an assumption that she did.

I can picture Lillian's reunion with Door-a-thee if there' a heaven. They would be giggling over a glass of wine and some new tidbit my mother had just made.

No comments: