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little bird: belle of the ball

18 November 2012


this morning, i grabbed your  favorite mug, made a cup of tea and settled in to look through our family photo boxes. two years ago, you would have been sitting here next to me. and i would have been saying something like, oh, remember that snow storm?? you would have been saying something more like, oh, i loved that outfit! i’ve always thought we each had our own unique spin on the world. but with the passing of time, i realized we were much more alike than i ever imagined.

sure, you had impeccable taste. and style (like in the above photo. seriously, who looks that put together at the bowling alley??); i, while clean and tidy, am at home only in flannel and Levi’s. you enjoyed travel on the high seas; i’m completely content paddling along the shoreline. you were the belle of every ball; i prefer to watch the ball in some 40’s film. yes, on some levels we were seemingly incompatible. on what matters most, we were of one mind.

over the last 24 months, i’ve missed sharing our common ground. lively conversation and well-articulated wisdom (on your part, of course). family and food (today, consumed lobstah tails in your honor). long, brisk walks (we slowed the pace over the years, but our spirits sprinted). marathon shopping excursions (your stamina far exceeded mine). curling up on the couch with good books or to watch classic movies (i bowed to your seniority and bragging rights because you’d seen them in the theater).

i now grasp why you might have worn your fleece vest in the house, when the thermostat was set on 73 degrees. or you left that 1/8″ of half and half in a pint container. or closed the blinds at 3:30 in the  afternoon, on dreary November days. i embrace my inner Fran, when i do the same. and silently (well, sometimes i just shout it out, and the dogs roll their eyes indulgently) express my gratitude for your lifelong guidance and unconditional love.

can’t wait see you on the flip side, little bird. until then, bowl a 300 game. cut it up with dad on the dance floor. and keep sending the big blue heron my way. with infinite love and smooches.


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  1. Carla Arnold #
    November 18, 2012

    She was indeed glamorous. I’m sure when she was out kicking up her heels with your dad that she was indeed always the belle of that ball as well.

  2. Little Sis #
    November 20, 2012

    This is one of your best blogs! So many memories of Mumma. That was her to a t. I remember that bowling picture!! I miss her so much and still can’t believe she is gone. Still driving home from work I want to pick up the phone and call her to share something with her. I guess I got her flair for fashion! Still think of how much you and I are so opposite from each other, but yet you and I are our mother’s daughters! Love you big sister, or as Mumma and I would say Kissy Lips! xoxoxoxoxo….

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