My husband and I bought our first home together, a condo in Brooklyn, just about two years ago. Apartment shopping in New York is certainly not for the faint of heart, something we learned after our first round of open houses. After months of searching, we found our diamond in the rough. It lacked the dining space I held out hope for and the corner windows and light our last apartment afforded, but had a parking spot and other amenities that made us cheer, while allowing us to stay in the neighborhood we had grown to love. We moved on a hot and sticky Saturday in August. After saying goodbye to the less-than-quaint walk-up apartment that we---and many families of mice---had called home for the last several years, we drove around the block to our new home, moving vans in tow. My parents arrived on cue, to help with the moving efforts. After coordinating my sister’s move in Rochester the day before, they were on the road to New York first thing in the morning, to help with their second move of the weekend. For three days we cleaned, unpacked, argued over where to hang each picture, and of course, ate. We drove to New Jersey to buy our first grill---a housewarming gift from my parents---and on my mom’s urging, we picked up shrimp cocktail and strip steaks, for a celebratory dinner that night.
My favorite moments of that weekend were the conversations with my mom, held over cups of coffee each morning. Long before my husband or father roused, we solved the world’s problems and tackled lingering interior decorating questions. Just the two of us. I’ll never forget my mom, sipping coffee in the perfect morning light from our eastern exposures, and telling me definitively: “You’re going to be happy here.”
I might never forget my mom’s confidence on that beautiful morning, but I have pushed it aside, more often than I’d like to admit, over the last couple years. It's particularly poignant to be writing this today, on 9/11 of all days, in this adopted city of mine that I have such a troubled relationship with. New York and I don’t always see eye to eye, to be sure, and I let that conflict overwhelm me at times. But this, I’m realizing, this is why I’m here. To share a piece of my mom and to connect with others, certainly, but just as importantly, to keep myself in check---to remember the wisdom and no-nonsense advice my mom handed out, wanted or not.
As I continue to share my mom’s stories here, I’d also love to hear from you, dear readers. How and why do these relationships, as mothers, daughters or otherwise, connect us as women? What is your story? And will you share it here? If you think you might, take a look here for submission guidelines. Make sure to include the title of this column, "You Remind Me of Someone," with your story.
Thanks for reading---and I hope, for sharing.