One of my friends was packing my bags, one was booking my flight and the others were picking up the pieces. Meanwhile I was lying weak on the bathroom floor with my head hung low between my shaking knees. I had just gotten the call from my father telling me to return home for my mother's last days.
Seven days ago we made dinner together in the kitchen we remodeled as a family. Six days ago we dressed up for church and prayed on those worn church pews. Five days ago we dyed eggs and filled out job applications together. Four days ago she lectured me for missing my flight again. And the days previously she called me in San Diego and counted down the minutes until I came home for Easter. And now she was on her last countdown. "Don't forget to pack my black dress," I told my friend before she zipped up the suitcase.
They say you can wear a little black dress to any occasion. It is a classic. It is reliable. And it is unforgettable. I celebrated my mom's life a week later in my little black dress. And now this dress will be my "go-to" wedding dress, my dancing dress, my date dress, my interview dress. But most important, it will be my Mom's dress. Its tear-stained cloth with time will be accompanied by spilled wedding drinks, smeared red lipstick stains, and a pair of stiletto pumps.
A little black dress is reliable and so is my mother. So even though she may no longer be here physically, I will take her with me, to every occasion. Who needs a date when you have a little black dress?