I intend on growing old and, finally, being an old woman with the old woman name I’ve made peace with. (A name, I should mention, that I now respect and adore.)
When I was eight or so I told people my name was Sarah. Disgusted with being made fun of and called “butter” and “margarine,” the butter runner-up, I chose to rebrand myself.
I thought I was stupid for being named after butter. Now I realize those jerks in my neighborhood were the stupid ones, making poor jokes and utilizing their limited vocabulary.
Clearly, I’m over it.
Some days this month were sad ones. Mainly January 9th. First I grieved for my Mommom, also named Marjorie, as it was what would have been her 84th birthday.
Then I grieved for my hometown of Philadelphia as an afternoon at the theater left me dizzy with disorientation - where had my city gone?
The Philadelphia I remember was vibrant and could always make me smile. The desolate store fronts and memories of lunch hours spent hustling in and out of so many doors I’d walked past made my heart sink.
How was IHOP still kicking?
As my mom, sister and I crossed through the grid that is Philadelphia we pointed out places we’d all worked, places we’d all eaten and the stretch of Spruce Street Sean and I used to call home.
Turning the corner near my old apartment I saw the psychic window, which just beyond its panes, I was told I’d be blessed with two children. There I was, a decade later, mother of two. How did all those days and nights pass already? The sobering truth that it really does go fast.
My mind races and realizes I don't want to carry this truth. I'm content with others knowing and lovingly saying it to me.
It all goes so fast.
Mommom used to tell stories of parties with her friends. There were lots of parties and lots of friends. Later in her life I could sense the joy of all that happened but the sadness that came with the fact that many of her friends had passed away and there were only a few of "Us left," she'd say.
Always sad that she is gone but grateful that we had so much fun together I carry her name like a gift. We were two Marjories who loved to attend parties. She's the one that told me, "Gin makes you sin." Wherever Mommom was, there was inevitably a party.
Hopeful, I remain for many things.
Marjorie, afterall, means a pearl - something that symbolizes rarity. Even though I didn't realize all those memories with Mommom were so special and rare as they happened, I do now and I continue to treasure them. This helps me remain hopeful that even when things seem ordinary, I trust that treasures are embedded.
I remain hopeful for Philadelphia too. This city I've come to know so well, through living my whole life intertwined with it, has been through many versions of cyclic rebirth. This is just, yet another.
Missing my Mommom and my hometown,
Photo by Marin Tulard on Unsplash