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Jewish Journal

My Mother, The Airport, Saying Good Bye, Crying, Money and Sean Penn

by Ilana Angel

December 9, 2010 | 7:39 am

My Wonderful Mom

My mom went back to Canada today and I am sad.  She is super cute, very funny, and just a fun girl to be around.  She was here for two weeks and it flew by.  We didn’t do anything special, just hung out.  It was low key and the only bad thing about her visit was that it was too short.

My son and her have a great relationship and both he and I love having her here.  Hearing them laugh together was so special, and the highlight for me was coming home after a long day, sitting with her on the couch, having her play with my hair, and listening to my day.  It was really wonderful.

This summer I will have lived in Los Angeles for twenty years, which means that I will have been missing her for that long.  I feel a little panic every time my son goes off to school because he is away from me, so I can’t imagine how it is for her with me so far because we are very close.

We can certainly get on each other’s nerves, and our relationship is not all rainbows, but we have something special.  I love her with no limitations.  There is nothing I would not do for her, and I would fight for whatever she needed.  At the end of the day, beyond loving her, I like her.

My son and I took her to the airport and it was hilarious because she hates to fly, so in order to calm her nerves, she talks.  She rambles on about random things that seem to come out of left field and have nothing to do with what we were talking about when the conversation started.

She is little, under 5 feet, and refuses to sit in the front seat of the car.  My son and I were in the front and as we pulled up to the airport I looked in the rearview mirror and could barely see the top of her head.  She’s just a little thing in the back, talking about nothing in particular.

Then our airport routine begins.  She asks if I need money, I tell her no.  I ask if she needs money, she tells me she is fine.  She waits for me to go check her in and then starts giving money to my kid, swearing him to secrecy, and making sure he has all her American currency.

Then when we are walking to drop her off at security, my son tells me how much she gave him, I then double the amount and slip it into her purse.  Then we say goodbye, hug, kiss, promise to see each other soon, and she is off.  I wait until she is out of sight, then I start crying.

After about twenty minutes she calls to say she is at her gate and all is well.  She tells me she loves me and had a wonderful time.  I ask her how much money she gave my son, and she denies she gave him any.  I then tell her to check her wallet and she finds the money I hid there.

She yells at me for putting it there, but there is nothing she can do because she has cleared security.  It’s our little dance and it never changes.  I would give her every penny I had if it made her life easier or better.  I love her, I love our dance, and I can’t wait for her to come back.

My son and I are walking to the car because I never leave the airport until I know she is safely through all the hurdles.  We are walking and I am crying.  I am telling him how much I love her and what a great mom she is, and he tells me I am a great mom too, so I cry harder.

If I am a great mom, which let’s be clear I am, it’s because she is.  As I walk arm in arm with my son I am dwarfed by him.  He is much taller than me and I imagine that soon I will be the small old lady in the back of the car being driven to the airport after a visit.

It all comes full circle.  I know my son will love me as much as I love my mother and that is wonderful.  You don’t have to have a great mother to be a great mother.  I am simply blessed that is the case in my family.  I miss her and look forward to her coming back soon.

As my son and I got home the phone rang.  It was my mom calling to say she was at her gate and would be boarding soon.  She was very excited that in her last few minutes in “Hollywood’, she met a celebrity.  Sitting in the airport waiting for his flight, was Sean Penn.

My mom loves Sean Penn so she went over, introduced herself, and let him know she loved his work, and thought he had lost too much weight.  He was lovely to her.  He shook her hand, told her he was so pleased she said hello, they chatted, and it made her day.

It was a great visit and we enjoyed being together.  I can smell her perfume around my home and it is comforting.  Estee Lauder Youth Dew.  That’s my mom.  I am counting the days until I see her again, counting my blessing to have a great mom, and keeping the faith.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Ilana Angel writes two blogs for JewishJournal.com. KEEPING THE FAITH is about her worldview as a single Jewish mother, and KEEPING IT REAL is all about reality television....

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