Where Do These Hugs Go Now

I hear the news as Yvonne read her text messages

I’m driving 

I process

Slowly

Pancake batter comes to mind immediately

Pancake batter with fresh blueberries and bananas

(A combo I would later determine tasted like Bazooka Bubble Gum)

First dish she sold me on the day she greeted me and welcomed me to the place

A place that would become one of our weekend staples 

I see the curly-haired  spitfire in those spots where memory files pics of those we love

We were strangers one day and chosen, honorary family the next

It happened unexpectedly

Destiny opened a door and gave me a Jewish Mama

She took you in and there was no questioning your place in her life

She became part of that repertoire that defines our daily lives

A most welcomed addition

A necessary passage

We shared birthdays and summer dinners and breakfasts and laughs and tears and stories and wicked witty jokes

And hugs

(punch to the gut)

Great hugs

(deep breath)

We shared all the things one will always find on the menu of a neighborhood diner…

…and more, so much more

Yesterday she left this earth

(St. Peter needed a greeter)

Illness not letting us say hello or goodbye

Leaving us to ponder

Who or what gets the benefit of her essence now

Who will greet us now

Who will sell me on those pancakes

And as I look at these arms of mine

Still widespread, still waiting, I ponder

Where do these hugs go now

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