Thursday, March 18, 2010

To The One I Love The Best (a post script)

My friend's Mama P is in hospital. She's quite a soldier. She had a stroke in her thirties, a stroke in her seventies, a heart attack I think, maybe two, and now a broken hip and pneumonia. She's a tough one -- tall, elegant, strong. Doesn't take crap from anyone.  Especially the physiotherapist, Michael, who in two sessions has plopped perfectly in place under her thumb. I went to visit her the other day. My friend brought in sushi, avocado rolls and cucumber rolls and salmon rolls, and we sat in her hospital room, the three of us, at a table which had a huge bunch of daffodils in the middle eating our picnic lunch on what was the warmest day we've had in Los Angeles in a while. The window was open and blowing the green curtain about.  Mama P has soft brown curls, styled in that Sophia Loren circa 1963 way, she wears black eyeliner on her top lid, a little blush in her cheek and a perfect red lipstick.  Her voice, a deep Southern drawl moderated only slightly by living in New York and Massachusetts, makes heads turn.

 Sophia Loren

I pulled my Ludwig Bemelman's book out of my bag. I thought she might remember him or Elsie de Wolfe. 
 "Look Mama" said my friend, "look at the name of the book." 
She pulled the book from my hands with her long, scarlet-tipped fingers and peered at the title down her perfect little nose. 
"To. The. One. I. Love. The. Best." she read and then burst into an enormous laugh.
"Well honey that is quite marvelous" she said. 
"Can you believe it? What are the odds?" said my friend. 
"Oh, P, that's just perfect" said her friend Warren, who'd just walked into the room and was looking over her shoulder at the flowery cover. 
"Mama P writes that on every letter and every card she ever writes" he said, smiling at me.  "It's her signature piece."

It's true.  There really are no coincidences.  Or as my friend Wendy's mother used to say "You are always where you are supposed to be."

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