loreen's easters

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My best friend in high school didn't end up being as important to me as her mother. Loreen was mystical in every respect. I never wear perfume, but, after she died, I took to buying her scent because it reminded me of her.

Every Easter she would cook a roast, a ham, a turkey, multiple side dishes, multiple desserts and set gin fizzes in front of anybody who came near. It was always the most peaceful day of the year. Not the chaos of preparation and output and cleanup you might be envisioning.

She did it all herself, except for the certain impeccable cheesecake from the bakery on 4th street, but there was never any sweat to it. It was just almost as though a brume of magic settled on her house and family and friends would come in and out as and when it struck them to do it.

Never loud. No dramas. Nothing sloppy. No arguments. Pleasing music at just the right volume. Not contemplative either. Just gently through the day, from early mass up through midnight every year.

She was an alcoholic, who was never not ladylike. Never. Transcendentally good taste. Always positive. Always supportive. Always loving. A devout Catholic, her husband had left her with three kids, and she would never remarry, despite a few of the leading bachelors coming regularly to spend time in her kitchen, drinking and playing dice, visiting while young people were flowing in and out at all hours of the day and night.

She died of a cancer that is VERY hard to die from. Basal cell carcinoma. Just one tumor. On her forehead. And she would not go to the doctor about it, even after she had to hold a tissue to it almost constantly to keep it from bleeding down her face.

She loved Paul Newman.

And I can never forget her on Easter.

pipe up any time....