Today, you would have been 50. I’ve no doubt that along with everything else, you would have worn this well and with perfect hair. But like all other November firsts that have passed since 1999, I wonder what you would have been like during that particular year.
Would your hair be long or short? Would you have finally given up your perfect tan and taken up sunscreen? Would California Chicken Salad from White Flint still be your favorite – or as recent changes have taken place – would you be missing it madly? Would you still complain about what a pain in the ass it is to make your caramel brownies – but you’d do it anyway and with a smile on your face? Would you have finally bought a car with an automatic transmission? Would you still be taping a little paper with the date on your mascara so you’d know to throw it out after exactly 3 months?
Hard to know those things, but here is what I do know.
I know you would still be hilariously funny. I know that I Love Lucy and Shirley Temple movies would still make you laugh. I know that,you would remember every name from junior high and high school and be Facebook friends with them all. I know you’d still love a summer full of the beach, hard shell crabs and outdoor concerts and that you’d have a hard time finding good leather gloves that fit your very long fingers.
I know you would be successful in whatever you were doing. I know your mother would still be driving you crazy and you’d roll your eyes at her – and talk to her every.single.day. I know you would still be doting on your grown nephews and niece – reveling in their accomplishments.
I know I would have called you to confirm the appropriateness of an outfit or ask who the hell is friending me on Facebook, only to have you remind me for the tenth time that I sat next to that person in English or History but never math because I skipped that class all the time. I know when motherhood had me questioning my sanity, you would have reassured me and told me I was doing just fine. I know you would have promised to tell Mini-Me all about our exploits – and she would have held you to that. I know you would have dragged my ass to our reunion.
I know you would have held my hand when I buried my parents and shared my joy at the birth of my daughter. I know you would be dragging my sister, who recently relocated back to that area, to the mall in search of warm clothes, trying to get her excited about shopping. You would do that not because you are particularly close to my sister, but because I am – and you would do that in my absence. And you would both laugh your asses off while making fun of people at the mall and my sister would smile and know just why you were my Big Susan.
I would still call you at all hours – and you me. We would talk – and text – about all the same shit we talked about for years. We would never say our names when we call, just “hey, it’s me.” We would know just by the sound of the others voice if the other was okay or what they needed.
But what I know most of all is that you would still be my friend – my Big Susan.
We may not be together today but I take comfort in knowing you’re in great company. No doubt my dad toasted you with a good scotch and Jack and my mom made you a little something to eat. I'm certain you're surrounded by friends - and family - who also left us way too soon. While these things comfort me - I'm selfish enough to admit they also piss me off. I'd rather you be here.
Happy 50th Birthday Rona. I miss you every day.