The Woman Who Sent Me 7lbs of Candy.

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Nine days out of ten my mother answers the phone, serious and concerned, “Anthony?”

“No, Ma, it’s Andrea.”

“Oh Francie, good. I thought it’d be you.”

“Then why did you say Anthony?”

“I thought it was your brother calling me.”

“But you just said you thought it’d be me…?”

“Uh huh. Hi. I’m glad you called. How’s things, luv luvs?”

“Bu- oh never mind-“

 

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I pause and I realize how much I love her. Because I know that when she answers the phone, whether it’s me or my brother, it’s the most important conversation she’s ever had.

 

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Her tone and note is pitched in such a way that I know she would rather be hearing about my day and the way I cut the nail on my first finger too short (thus throwing off the whole consistency of a good polishing), than hear secrets about when the world will end and what she could do to save it.

 

I know that when she asks strangers and my sisters to text message me on her phone, saying things like, “This is what you’ll get married in,” or, “I put a hat on DeeDee” (our family pug), that she’s just trying to get in touch. And I learn that the time I tried to teach her to text didn’t work. Never will. 

I hear her whisper to my brother, now 33, over the phone, and say things like “ I love you Teeny Tiny Tony.” And I know that even though it would absolutely be offensive and patronizing to any other reasonable human being, it’s the kindest, gentlest thing he’s ever heard.

 

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We’ve never, my brother and I, been able to leave her for long. Anthony went off to school in Arizona, and he’d call and talk to her for hours. Hours. And minutes. And more hours. Telling her all about life. Things so honest and personal I’m sure they’d file into her brain under “I didn’t need to know that but thank you for telling me… I think.”

I went away to college too, and then to Italy, and then to various United States to live and work in film, and each move felt like I was taking off another piece of clothing and going out onto a busy street. The last move, here and now in Seattle, leaving me near-topless. I miss her. I feel bare without her.

 

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I want to crawl inside that spot between her earlobe and the base of her neck, where it smells like Clinique Happy and reassurance.

I know (almost) everyone loves their mother. But how can all of us think ours is without question the best? How can I be so sure she’s the one I’d pick if I had to start my life again and this time, I could choose the players?

I just know.

She’s the one person I cannot imagine living without.

Cannot.

Will not.

Don’t even know how

To live without.

 

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She’s my best friend. And if I were to find the right language to explain it, I’d have to do some math. Multiply love by infinity, and then take that to the tenth power. If that’s possible. Don’t quote me on it.

And so, when I talk to her and when she calls to tell me she’s just made a dinner I’d love, eaten a candy I’d coo for, licked the marshmallow off a Mallo Cup wrapper, I know food is one of the ways we send, we share, we receive love.

And when she sends me a 7 pound box of Easter Cadbury, Russell Stover, and Peeps

I know for sure it’s love.

And she smiles on the east coast.

And I smile on the west.

 

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Comments

  1. Riss says

    Oh, my gosh…. My parents live in the Philippines, so if I’m lucky, I see them 2-3 time a year…. I’m an only child, so the separation anxiety puts me in a funk for full two weeks after we’ve parted.

    Your post would have left me half in tears missing my mom if she weren’t here right now. (They flew in for my graduation!)

    Glad to see there are others out there who DON’T have dysfunctional relationships with their mothers and actually LIKE talking to them!

    Now if you’ll excuse me, we’re going to hit up Starbucks this morning to giggle like little high school girls.

  2. says

    This is so sweet! I hope your mother reads your blog and gets to see these wonderful words that you have said about it! My mother is my best friend too – but it is difficult to put into words how important and how much of a special and irreplaceable role she plays in my life. You have captured your feeling perfectly!

  3. says

    My mom always answers the phone, “I told your dad this would be you.”

    Seriously, ma? You guys sit there and make bets for the three rings before you pick up? Really? Are you bored?

    Sweet post, though. Your mom raised a lovely lady.

  4. says

    That was so sweet Andie! I really didn’t appreciate my own mother until I moved out, we are FAR too different to coexist peacefully under one roof. But now that I don’t share a living space with her? Gosh I miss her. Luckily she’s only an hour away…she still makes me an Easter basket every year, and probably will until I have my own children, but until then she always makes me one, and I totally love her for that. :) Moms are just the best.

  5. says

    omg. this was the sweetest post about your mom! loved it! how lucky she is to have a daughter like you who thinks so highly of her and loves her so much! happy easter! xo

  6. says

    Aww, so beautiful. I relate (once again) because my mom and I have that type of relationship too! We live over 600 miles apart and it’s been torture being that far away. Totally relate!

  7. says

    My mom passed away 2 years ago from cancer. I would love to hear my mom’s voice again, no matter where I lived. To touch her. Smell her perfume. Hell, I’d even let her yell at me for something, just to have her here. You’re very lucky. Love her forever.

  8. Carol says

    My mom is my best friend too! Moms are the best!!! Your mom is lucky to have such a sweet daughter…maybe she knows how sweet you are, that is why she sent you all that candy :-)

  9. Lisa says

    This post is such a treat to read — you write beautifully! And that chick!!??? is it made from ramen noodles or what?! too cute!

  10. says

    This is such a sweet post!! My mother sends me a card for every single possible holiday…covered in stickers! Actually, everytime she sends me newspaper clippings, or copies from magazine articles she thought I would fins interesting, the envelope is covered in stickers. Lately I’ve took notice to these stickers, and you see, as a child I LOVED stickers and collected them…and she has been using my collection I left behind to decorate her mail to me. I think it’s super cute and love when I see a colorful envelope in my mailbox, covered in pocahontas and carebears!

  11. maryellen (mitchell) loiacono says

    Andrea,

    That post brought tears to my eyes and such happiness!!!!! I love you so much and want the world for you. You are my total inspiration and bring such happiness in my life. I live each day in your shadow!!!!!!!

    Love always,
    Ma

  12. says

    even though my mom drives me mad and i’m certain i drive her mad too, we love our time together. :) there are so many of her qualities that i see in myself.

  13. says

    Such a sweet post- makes me want to call my mom! Although, I talked to her an hour ago. Wouldn’t want to frighten her off by calling her so soon and demanding Easter chocolate through my weeping of “mama, bring me caaaandy, Iloveyousomuch, Andie’s mom did, pleeeease?” . :)

  14. says

    Such a beautiful post about your mother!!! I don’t live near mine either (though not quite as far as you from yours) and I miss her ALL.THE.TIME. And no joke, our phone conversations are pretty much the same. “Ben? Oh hi Shannon, I was just going to call you.”

  15. says

    Please PLEASE do me a favor. Go back and read this post while listening to “Nothing is Good Enough” by Aimee Mann, which I just happened to have on as background music when I read this. It. Goes. Perfectly. I felt like I was watching a really heartfelt dialogue in a movie, hearing your voice over this sweet music. WOW. Best thing I have read all week.

    Thank you so much. And thanks to your Mama.

  16. satschuck says

    My Mom lives 2.5 miles from me and takes care of both my daughters. I’m going to give her an extra big hug for you today (and one for me – she still gives me, St. Valentine’s Day; St. Patrick’s Day and Easter presents).

  17. says

    This post is beautiful. Just beautiful. You write so well….I’m smiling a big giant smile, thinking of my mum and feeling so happy to have stumbled upon your blog :-) happy easter!

  18. Helena says

    If I were your mom, I would be crying right now! I just LOVE your writing :)
    And if you don’t mind, I would like to claim that air matress with my name on it now, with those 7lbs of candy in the picture 😀

  19. says

    beautiful! i find my mom so annoying at times because she just asks me about what i ate and how to not annoy my husband too much and i tell her to stop. After reading this i know that no one else asks me what i had for lunch or cares enough about my life to tell me not to annoy my husband. :-) I needed to read this… I’ll be a lot calmer when I talk to my mom!

  20. Joni says

    Very sweet comments…as a mother, I can tell you that it is such a great thing when parents and their children share a special, close relationship. I know you have blessed your mother beyond imagination when she reads your post, and when you and your brother engage her in conversation. Good job, and keep it up!

  21. says

    I wish I was this close with my mom. I feel like we’re almost there, but we butt heads too much for us to be 100%. We’ll have a great day, but then I’ll say something in passing that I don’t even think about and she’ll be over-sensitive and get offended, then she’ll be overly hurtful to me in response, then we won’t talk for days. And she is having a really hard time letting go and accepting that I’m an adult.

    We got along great when I was in Boston. I feel like we’re taking baby steps towards a relationship like this (I always got lovely baskets like this one too, she is very sweet), and it’s something to work towards. And it seems like you cherish it just as you should :)

  22. says

    Awesome tribute to your mother. I know exactly how you feel. I was lucky enough to have a reason to move back to where my mom lives…the reason was a tragedy, but the outcome was that I got to live by my mom again. I’m not sure what I’d do without her.

  23. LynseyI pu says

    Seriously almost brought a tear to my eye. If I could convince my mom to leave my dad and move in with my husband and I…and it not be really weird–I TOTALLY would. She calls me EVERY morning at work and tells me how much she loves me and to have a wonderful day. God bless the mothers!

  24. Johnny says

    I read “What I Do for a Living” before this one and couln’t go without saying thanks! My Mom is dying of Cancer, lost my Dad two years ago to cancer and my wife’s Mom to cancer the year before that. Talked with Mom over the phone yesterday (Easter), she’s in Kentucky with my sister and I’m in Florida, celebrated the fact that she enjoyed eating (she’s having a tough time with all the treatments). Our family always gathered around food. If we gathered and there wasn’t food we would find some! I love her and will miss her terribly when she passes, so always love her! Oh wow, sob, sob sorry about that! Hope your Easter was a great one:)

  25. says

    it makes me happy to know there are other mothers out there sending their grown daughters boatloads of candy for easter. my mom called me to proudly let me know that by using a flat rate box, she’d saved $23 on shipping costs. for a box of candy. yes, there’s a lot and i’ve been slowly and not so slowly making my way through the stash. happy belated easter!

  26. says

    Yep, there’s nothing at all in the world like having a really, really, really good mom. You, clearly, appreciate what you have. That makes not only you, but also your mom, extremely lucky. :)

  27. Alli says

    As a mother I can not begin to tell you how much I adored this post!! I always tell people that my son is the only one who will ever be able to tell me whether or not I was a good mom… and judging by your post, it’s safe to say your mom must be one of the finest. Being someone’s entire world is amazing.. but knowing that they’re also yours is indescribable.

  28. Leslie Lockhart says

    Bawling!!! …and it isn’t the first time you have brought me to tears- which is usually immediately followed by laughter :) I am so glad I found your blog. You say everything beautifully. I bet your mom has tissue by her computer- my mom isn’t with us anymore but that twinge of pride… that “you are the best and can do anything you want” that she covered me with is still there when I need it! Great post to read on Mother’s Day! Thank you!!

  29. says

    This post just made me all teary. My Mum is currently on a trip to visit her family in New Zealand, and I both appreciate my time by myself, and miss her dearly.

    xoxo

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