Anne Notations

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Have you heard the one...

... about the 76-year friendship between two hot-stuff old ladies? OK, maybe that's not funny, but it's true.

Alma was my mother-in-law Sally's oldest friend. They met at age 12 when Mom moved into the Bronx. They graduated from Washington Irving High School together. They were charming - small and feisty and fun. In their old age, both widows, Mom would cook dinner for Alma and they'd go out shopping together.


Alma came to Mom's wake on Tuesday and was the life of the party. She brought old photos. She told girlhood stories about bunking school and making cornstalk cigarettes. She told jokes ... and more jokes. Henny Youngman had nothing on Alma.

"There were two girls who were arguing about how to pronounce 'Hawaii,'" Alma said. "They walked into a store and asked the man behind the counter, 'Do you say "Hah-WHY-ee" or "Hah-VYE-ee?"'

"'Hah-VYE-ee,' he said.

"'Thank you very much!'

"'You're velcome!'"

Michael walks Alma to her car after the wake in Yonkers.

The wake and funeral were packed with people, young and old, who loved Mom. Her four sons and 10 of her 13 grandchildren were there, sharing funny stories and tears.

Not to get all "Sunrise, Sunset" on you, but my greatest comfort as we mourned the loss of this wonderful woman was seeing those grandchildren together. Quite a legacy.

Some of the cousins after Mom's funeral: Kevin, Melinda, Andrés, Eric, Jared, and James

Now we return to our regularly scheduled lives.


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