I didn’t write a post last week due to my school going into full on preparation for remote teaching. The only thing on my mind was Covid-19. It is certainly there this week as well, but I have some more space, and it’ll slightly influence this post. I spent a lot of time on the phone yesterday. I’m guessing this is true for many people during our physical social distancing. It made me think about my mother, and how much time she had to spend at home when she was sick, and how much time spent on the phone, talking to her family, friends, but most of all, her best friend. They would spend hours on the phone. Then they would see each other in person, and then they would talk again on the phone that same day. I remember this because I used to question her about it.
I said I wouldn’t use names, so I’ll keep to that and call the woman who was my mother’s best friend, and later became a second mother to both me and my sister, best friend. She is the woman who married me and my husband. I learned a lot about my mother from her best friend. She passed away in 2012.
It was her best friend whom Norma asked to go into her things and destroy diaries and letters that she had written after she died. I get really sad about the erasing of that inner life, but I realize that it was totally her choice. It has influenced what I share here, knowing that Norma had that very private part of herself she did not want to share.
There are not many pictures of best friend and Norma together, and all of them are after she got sick, so I’m going to share a few of just best friend, which were very likely taken by Norma. A few details about best friend. She was a nun and a counselor who later ran a women’s domestic violence shelter. She was a New Mexican, and she and my mother would speak in Spanish when they didn’t want us to know what they were saying. They were somewhat of the same generation, their mothers speaking more Spanish than English. They were very close.
They also did journeys together. This is some sort of women’s religious gathering. I’m not quite sure why some of them are wearing aprons. I recognize many of the faces, so if you are in this photo maybe you can tell us more details.
I hope you are in a position to enjoy family and friends, in the same house, or over the phone and the internet, as we all go through this pandemic with varying degrees of privilege.