Friday, December 6, 2013


I arrived at my parents’ apartment at 9:00am that Saturday morning. I rang the bell and immediately heard the poodle’s bark. My mom opened the door and grabbed the bag of bagels from me. She asked if I brought any surprise treats for her.

I brought you an almond horn. I know it’s your favorite.
My mom casually thanked me and inquired if I had brought her any cookies in addition to the almond horn. I sighed and got to work setting the table and slicing bagels. I put the vegetable cream cheese out and my dad comes out to greet me with coffee.

No lox?
Of course I brought lox, Mom. I know how much you love it.

My parents and I sit down and the poodle assumes her spot under the table waiting for someone to accidentally drop some food. I sneak her little bites of my bagel which she quickly scoops up. I remind my mom that I don’t have much time because I don’t want to be late for my haircut. She informs me that I get too many haircuts.
I really don’t need you to lecture me every single time I schedule a haircut.

My mom smiles her signature toothy grin and proceeds with another lecture. She tells me that once in a while it wouldn’t hurt to listen to my mother. After all, she has been around a while and has learned a few things along the way.
We eat and we talk and as usual there is not a single moment of silence between us. We discuss plotlines from the show Parenthood. We talk about parenthood. About her two little grandkids who love her to pieces. I tell her about teacher conferences, gym classes, blog posts and upcoming holiday shows. She asks me what book she should read next and I tell her that she would like the new Delia Ephron book. She asks me what to get for her Secret Hanukkah person this year. I ask her who she has, and she says she has me.

Finally, even the almond horn is gone.
I really have to go. I don’t want to be late for my haircut.

I say goodbye and shut the door.
Except that I never had the chance to say goodbye. I never got to have that breakfast with my mom. She was already at the hospital that morning. I had been in the hospital room with her all night but never said goodbye because I didn’t think I had to. Not then.

She died that Saturday afternoon. When she passed away I was at her house. Feeding the poodle.
There are so many things I still have to tell her. There was never any silence between us. Now it is painfully quiet. I just want one more chance to tell her everything.

Your four-year-old grandson talks to Clifford when he has something to say to you. He is taking good care of him just like you asked him to.
Your one-year-old grandson seems to only want to play with the toys you got him. It’s like he’s playing with you. Are you there playing with him?

I should have brought you breakfast on Friday morning.
I love you, Mom.

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  1. Oh Adina I am so sorry for your loss! I love this, your memories are precious and your mom will live on in your children. I love it when my mom drops in from time to time through my girls, especially Mia! :) I hope she brings some bagels, cream cheese, lox, and goodies with her next time. Those breakfasts are the best! xoxo

  2. I'm near tears here. I'm so so sorry for your loss. My father passed unexpectedly in October and I never even had an inkling that I'd need to say goodbye. I'm so sorry. I can feel your pain and send you hugs and strength. And a friend if you need one.

  3. I'm finally getting to read this now (in tears) but as we spoke about...keep talking, she is with you and will always listen.

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