I often judge the person I love most. I look at her and feel like I make better decisions. Like I’m more mature. More self-aware. Like I'll be a better parent. Like I’ll be smarter with my money. Like I won’t overreact about the same stupid things. I suppose it started happening once I decided to move out. Maybe I was trying to distance myself in order to prove my independence.
Last week my mom and aunt came to visit. On the way into the city they were giggling and taking pictures on the subway. I was embarrassed they were drawing attention to themselves. I didn’t want to be associated with tourists.
When they are together they laugh over memories of their mom. How they teased one another. How she still watches over them. “I felt Nani with me!” my mom said after finding a beautiful fur coat for $20 at an estate sale.
Nani died when my mom was only thirty four. It was too early. No matter what it would’ve been too early. But it only hit me this week. I call my mom almost every day, and she hasn’t been able to do that for almost twenty years. How does she cope? Why don’t I ever ask about her? Why don't I ever say, “Wow, it must be so hard. You must miss her SO much.”
Why did I get so embarrassed by her? Why was I impatient with her questions? I acted as if I had a better way to spend my time than with the person who I have loved the longest, knows me best, and loves me the most. My biggest role model.
We sat across from each other on the train and I pulled out my phone to take a picture of them giggling. I rocked my head back and laughed, and realized that I was mimicking her exactly. Our posture, the way we hold our wrists instead of crossing our arms, the way our hips look in jeans. None of my mannerisms are my own. I’m so grateful.
When they left I found myself walking alongside their taxi as it inched towards a red light. When it turned green she waved through the back of the window and I couldn’t see from the stupid blurry tears in my eyes.
I refuse to think about it. I’ve blocked it from my brain. If the thought ever enters my mind, I repress it quickly. But it’s hitting me now stronger than ever. I’m not ready. I’ll never be ready. It’s forever away.