Once upon a time I met a sailor. A sailor in the making. It was a dreamy night, hot and humid as south Texas can be. I was not impressed, with the weather or the sailor.
In spite of that, a friendship developed. Almost against my will. I was not ready. Not ready. Not ready.
One day I let him convince me to visit his mother. We drove to her one-bedroom apartment in Houston. I was unsure what to expect. I was a divorcée with a five-year-old son. This sailor was her one and only son. The sun and the moon rose with him.
She accepted me with open arms. Boisterous, talkative. There were no corners in her home where dull moments could hide.
She spent that night in the living room with her son, giving up her bed for me to sleep with mine.
In the morning, unbeknownst to me, she caught her son staring at me through the partially open door. I was asleep, he said, with my long hair spread out all over the pillow. “I couldn’t take my eyes off you,” he said.
She made fun of him later that morning. Perhaps because she knew. Knew that her son was hooked.
And that she would be part of my life for 34 years.
RIP, Mary. Godspeed.