One day when Coco asks about my mom (her grandmother), I am going to tell her:
My Mom loved personalized stationery, kept the house im-mac-u-late incase at any given time Queen Elizabeth needed to borrow sugar, wore oversized sunglasses, false eyelashes & headscarves. She was “Justine” to friends, “Tina” to family, “Mommy” to me. She was born in Scranton on New Year’s Eve, loved the beach, but hated…HATED the ocean. She smelled of Opium in the winter, Giorgio in the summer. Had the most perfect penmanship I have ever seen. Loved star-sapphires and read the newspaper comics every night. Didn’t own sweatpants; yet did have a lavender sweatshirt she’d wear to recaulk the bathtub. Friday nights were reserved for The Muppet Show, Dallas & Falcon Crest. Vanilla Frusen Glädjé ice cream & potato chips were her favorites. Drank Coca Cola out of green glass bottles with a straw, never Pepsi. Drove to work every morning with her slip under her trench coat so she wouldn’t get her suit wrinkled. Loved Elizabeth Taylor in Last Time I Saw Paris, cried at the end of The Breakfast Club and camped out for tickets to my first concert, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band. An amazing cook…meh, at baking so Ferrara’s Bakery was on speed dial. Never forgot a birthday, taught me her knack for gifting & the art of gift wrapping. Understood the importance of a Swatch watches, YM Magazine and Camp Beverly Hills in the life of preteen girls. Went hiking in white pants and platform sandals, did the Hustle and would laugh when listening to Howard Stern on AM Radio only to get home and put on Elvis & Engelbert. On a few occasions she even threw my doll surprise birthday parties with decorations, balloons & cupcakes on Nov. 1st because that was Lucinda Imogene’s birthdate on my Cabbage Patch Kid’s adoption certificate. But what I loved most…when she’d fall asleep in her white cashmere turtleneck so I would cuddle up to her. I can still remember the softness of that sweater.