We threw my mom a party yesterday. Not a wake, not a funeral. A celebration of life. A party. That’s actually how I entered it on my google calendar: “Mom’s Party. Noon to 3pm.” A gathering of friends and family. Talking, laughing, reminiscing, drinking, eating. Vegan food only, as per her wishes. A ton of it too, from local restaurants Batata Cafe and Purple Elephant. (I highly recommend both.)
This is what she wanted. It was actually, dare I say… fun. We did what she wanted: ate, drank, talked, ate, laughed, ate, reminisced, ate. Her first husband, who she was married to briefly before my father, told us a story about my mother at age 21 jumping onto a moving train in Paris. My aunt read a moving and detailed eulogy, describing in one part how, as kids living on the east side of Manhattan, they snuck into the United Nations. Friends of my sisters who I hadn’t seen since probably high school showed up. Cousins, longtime family friends, my mother’s coworkers, neighbors. It was a packed house. We ate a lot of food and drank a lot of wine and told a lot of stories. It’s what she wanted. I hope we came through. I think we did.
I ran yesterday morning – just down Main Street in Northport, to the harbor, swinging around the huge tree they have ready to decorate for Christmas, and then back up Main towards home – but had no time to write a blog post about it. I didn’t even take a post-run picture as is my custom. I did take a picture of myself after I got dressed for the party. I wore both makeup AND a dress, so it was definitely a cause for documentation. I don’t wear dresses often, but thought my mom would like me in this. (It’s Calvin Klein, bought on sale at Burlington a couple years ago.)
I figured I’d throw my run stats on there too. There you go. That’s my running picture for the day. Me in makeup and a dress and my Garmin and my run stats in a grainy picture taken in a bathroom with an iPhone 5S purchased in January 2014 that has a disgusting rubber band around it to literally keep it from falling apart and yes I know I need to get a new phone.
The food from Batata and Purple Elephant was really great. Folks, I’m not a vegan at all and have no agenda here, but I’m telling you, there is some good-ass vegan food out there. Teriyaki seitan sliders, black bean sliders, butternut squash mac & cheese, quinoa salad, eggplant parm, wraps, sandwiches, cookies, raspberry crumb bars. We even got an enormous vegan chocolate cake from Whole Foods.
And guys… I ate all the food. All of it. I mean, not literally? But close? I ate SO GODDAMN MUCH FOOD. I actually felt kind of shitty later on that night – shortness of breath, pounding heart, like a 600 lb. man was sitting on my chest. Like I was the 600 lb. man. Sitting on my own chest. It was gross. I’m going to try to remember that feeling the next I’m at a party with a lot of food.
You know what, here are a few more pics of the party, just because. More of the set up – I didn’t really take pics during. My sister Shana hosted it, and she and her husband Mark did a phenomenal job. They really did. It was perfect.
So all in all, a good day. A celebration of life.
Thank you to Brueggemann Funeral Home for the laminated cards.