Grasping for the ringing phone, eyes wide shut, I fumbled. “Morning Joe” aired and it was time to rise but the lids wouldn’t open.


“How’s my big boy?” asked my mother.
“What’s the matter?” said I …not quite awake.
“Nothing. Just checking on my boy.”

“Everything’s fine Mom…. “We miss you.” (I added, gaining strength).

“Didn’t I always tell you you would?—remember?”

“Yes Mom.”

“And the kids?” she posed.

“That’s an essay question…” I began, but fortunately she interrupted.

“Are you keeping your weight down? “Sorry I missed the wedding. You know I planned to be there. I’ll bet it was nice.”

“Mom, why are you calling? Really.”

“Bruce, Bruce—still asking questions! Was Harriet there? What did she wear?” (She said— still asking questions). “Did she walk down the aisle?”

“Really Mom, why the call?”

”I hope you remembered to invite Laura. You know Stacy was named for Laura’s father Sam. Please say you remembered.”

“Yes Mom. On my list.”

“You know Bruce—I can’t be there to remind you anymore.”

“Yes Mom. Is that really why you called?”

“And Rocky—did you ever get him back? Are you dating? You shouldn’t be alone—“

“That’s Adam…and No Mom.”

“Is the back seat of your car clean?“


“Do you REALLY want to know why I called? It’s almost a year, you know.”

(Was she kidding? My mother calling long distance? Had to be a reason).

“To talk about Hal?”

“No.” For the first time her voice was calming:
“He’ll be fine. I promise.”

“Then what Mom? I mean you didn’t even reverse the charges? We were just JOKING about suing Ed. Why the call?”

There was a long pause before she spoke.

“You know me Bruce— insecure. Promise you’ll go to Park on my yahrtzeit—it’s not a lodge night. I checked.”

“Mom, you don’t have to ask. C’mon.”

“And not Sunday morning, either. At night. Friday night…when they read my name.”

“Yes Mom,” I assured, knowing full well that meant two services. (A Friday Maariv reading of ALL her names would carry well into Saturday morning).

“And stand next to your brother.”
“Yes Mom.”

There was more silence and then she told me she loved me.

“Me too,” I said, but she was gone. Again.

Rethinking the call I turned on the shower. Mothers know their kids inside and out; ours was no different. Her yahrtzeit? Hal and I together?
The call wasn’t necessary….for her. What else?

I thought some more.

“He’ll be fine. I promise.” “He’ll be fine. I promise.” Her words echoed…and sunk in. Then, knowing full well my mother never lied to me I stepped in the shower.

And I sang.

One Response to “BEAUTIFUL DAY”

  1. Jackie says:

    I sang, too.

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