She was always there, my Mom’s best friend.

Myrtle, she hated, so Mike she was.

She came for tea; they went to concerts.

Slumber parties, college reunions, and charity balls,

My shy mother endured, all for the sake of friendship.

Mike brought me Lambykins the day I was born.

Lambykins

Lambykins

The night the doctors unplugged my father, Mike was there.

She told me to go to college orientation anyway –

He would have wanted it that way.

Her hair was always silver, always just so.

I never saw her without her blue eyeliner, even into her nineties.

She was a terrible flirt, “incorrigible” my mother would say.

Mike would wink, and they would laugh.

They always laughed.

And always, always, they said “rabbits” first thing on the first day of the month, for luck.

It’s how they knew they were soul mates when they met as freshmen in 1935 — they both said “rabbits.”

Mike always called the night before to remind my mother, for seventy-plus years.

After Mom died, Mike called me or my brother instead.

“Don’t forget to say rabbits!” she’d say.

Halloween night she called:

“What are we supposed to say tomorrow?”

“Rabbits,” I said, feeling very sad.

For the rest of my life, I will hear her voice on the first of the month.

“Rabbits,” she’ll say. And wink her blue-lidded eye.

Rest in Peace, Mike.

# # #

I wrote this in response to today’s Daily Prompt:

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/source-of-anxiety/. You’re supposed to write about a noise, or a silence, that won’t go away. The WordPress Gods view this as a source of anxiety, but say we can interpret it different ways. When I heard this morning that Mike had passed away, I was going to write about her silence – but I find she will never be silent. And so, Mike’s monthly “rabbits” brings me comfort, not anxiety.

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