Random Insomnia

Posted By on March 2, 2011

I’m starting this post at 1:49 in the morning. Because I can’t sleep. A lot of writers can’t sleep. Wonder what that’s about. Too much stuff racing around our heads, I guess.

This morning, as I can’t sleep, I’m remembering a visit from my mother-in-law. We lived in Hawaii at the time–you wouldn’t believe how popular you are when you live in Hawaii. (The asides will be the random parts of this post. I’m tired and sleepless. Bear with me, if you can!)

My mother-in-law always treated me as if she’d chosen me. And she was my hero. She began working for AT&T when you had to live in the house with the switchboard to be one of their operators (in a place called Los Alamos, which she had to pretend didn’t exist if anyone called wanting to speak to someone there). When she retired, she was responsible for all the IT equipment in the northwest and part of Canada. She once shared a bottle of–something–on the roof of a Seattle hotel with friends–with such enthusiasm that the folks also holding their evening church service there, seemed to feel her group needed spiritual assistance. I loved my rowdy mother-in-law with all my heart.

Back to the present. It’s 1:54 a.m., and Murder She Wrote is on television. I didn’t know anyone still ran Murder She Wrote, but I was flipping through the stations, trying to fend off my kitty who seems to feel that if I’m awake, I should feed him, and there was Mrs. Fletcher. Ma loved Jessica. Ma never missed Jessica. (Or Jeopardy or “Wheel,” as she called Wheel of Fortune.) The first time Ma talked me into seizing the remote from her sons (the beloved and his brother, who’d come with Ma), was during one of her visits to Hawaii, when Jessica’s run had just begun. (Who among us does not know how jealously a man guards his remote? And the beloved and the bil were not big fans of the cozy mystery.)

I miss Ma when I see Jessica, but tonight, that familiar voice and those curious eyes make me smile. They remind me of another familiar voice I dearly miss, so I’m settled in with Jessica and sweet memories of the mother who chose to let me be her daughter. I love ya, Ma.

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