It was 10:30 on a silent Monday night. Our mother had been gone near a half hour as Hal, Margie and I stood waiting in the hall to see her. The Thief was in her room, presumably checking under the mattress one last time.
“You know, “ my brother said with love, “This means you’re next.”
Truth be known, he reminded me that should we all go in order I am now kneeling, swinging a bat in the on deck circle. (Aunt Helen, rumored to have voted for Lincoln in both elections, will clearly outlive us all).
Being next is not what it used to be. I’d settle for the middle of the pack. Gladly.
Ironically, the very last movie I took my mother to see was “The Bucket List.” We shared happy tears together as
Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson knocked down their final “To do:” list.
Exiting the theater, my melodramatic mother asked me what would be on my list. She was eighty; living in an old folk’s home. I wasn’t ready for that conversation.
But I am today.
So here it is Mom. MY list.

1 Drive around Lander Circle clockwise against traffic.
2 Give a college commencement address.
3 Be a greeter at “Corky & Lenny’s.
4 Rejoin Park Synagogue.
5 Get an apology from Dick.
6 Hang out with a blonde that wears one of those baseball caps where her ponytail sticks out through the hole in the back. (Soft pink, if possible).
7 Hold a grandchild.
8 Sing along at a Bar Mitzvah, arms around each other,
with my three kids and their spouses, as the music blares out “That’s What Friends Are For.”

Truth be known, my mother had a list too. It had but
one item.
Ever since the mid 70’s, when she first announced her impending mortality, she would admonish her boys “When I’m gone you’ll only have each other.” She yearned for her kids to cement their checkered relationship.
By anyone’s account, our mother lived long enough to see her wish fulfilled. Hal and I, (with Margie I might add), do have each other. And we don’t need a movie to laugh and cry together.
Thanks Mom.

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