Second String Moms

Second String Moms

Mothers Day is fast approaching.   I could go on and on about my mother.   But today besides thinking of my own mother I am thinking about my 2nd String Mom.  Most people have one and most of us have been a 2nd String Mom to someone whether we know it or not. 

An explanation is needed.  Kind of.  The 2nd String Mom. She is your go to female after your own Mom.  She has a very special place in your heart.  Over the years she has guided you, yelled at you, kicked your butt and loved you.  Just as your Mom... but differently. 

Now let me tell you about my 2nd String Mom who I met when I was ten years old.  New to Vermont, new to the neighborhood I am invited to a friends house to play after school.  First impression in the basement of my new friends house the walls are covered with incredible crayon kid art.  WOW!  Your Mom actually let you draw on the walls?  New friends Mom is super cool.  And so is cemented a relationship that exists to this very day.  

Gabbi as she is now affectionately called by all her grandchildren and me is an enigma. One simply cannot begin to explain Gabbi but I will do my best.

Gabbi. Our relationship began with what I like to refer to as the “Fig Newton” incident.   Let me just state that I am not the guilty party. However, I did dispose of stolen property.  Therefore, that makes me an accessory to the crime.  It was a simple fall afternoon when my now established friend MJ( Gabbi’s daughter) her 2 siblings and I decided we needed a snack.  So we innocently helped ourselves to the Fig Newtons in the cookie jar.  ALL of the Fig Newtons in the cookie jar.  In enters Gabbi ...looking for a Fig Newton for the youngest of her gang.  There are NO more Fig Newtons.  This as I would learn was an issue of astronomical proportion.  

“Cool Mom” began to evolve into a species that I had witnessed in my own home.  Of course we all know how to react to  the “Species” when it’s our own parent.   But this was no mans land for me.  “WHAT HAPPENED To All THE FIG NEWTONS?” roared Gabbi.  

It is unclear in my mind what happened next.  Perhaps it’s that part of my brain that shuts down and protects me from certain memories.   The only thing I remember is suddenly ALL the Fig Newtons were in my tiny little 10 year old hands.  Looking back with wisdom, I can now tell you I had been set up as the sacrificial lamb by the siblings.  

So what did I do as Ursela the Fig Newton witch set her blazing gaze upon me? Fight or flight?   I was out of there. I ran like hell.   Fig Newtons clenched in my tiny sweating palms.  I ran for my life headed in the direction of home as if the very devil himself was licking at my heels.  Half way home in a vacant lot I was out of breath.  I dared not look back as I was sure my demise was imminent.  Alas, I lifted my head ready to take my punishment sure that Gabbi was right behind me.  Nothing.  She hadn’t chased.  Thank God I was spared whatever wrath my overactive imagination thought was coming.

 With my bare hands I clawed a hole 6 inches deep in the ground.  I quickly buried my contraband never to be found. I stood and casually started back home thankful for another day.  To this day nothing grows over the tomb of the Fig Newtons.  

This was the beginning of Gabbi and me.  It was clearly established that I would be loved and cared for as her own.  And as her own I would be subject to her wrath should I choose not to follow the house rules.  She has clearly had my back for 45 years.    

Gabbi has saved my son Alex’s life as he hid under the bed from me.  I was a raving 7 months pregnant hormonal lunatic poking at him with the end of a broomstick when she bravely stood between us.  I was instructed to calm down  so I wouldn’t go to jail or go into labor.

 Gabbi aka Floence Nightingale.  She kept me company on more than one occasion in the hospital.  Only Gabbi could turn a blood clot into a hilarious tale of a horse liver just to make me not worry.   Woe to the nurse or doctor who enters a room and doesn’t wash their hands upon entering or leaving.  Trust me. If you or your loved one is hospitalized there is no one you want keeping watch more than Gabbi.  You will be healed just so the hospital can get rid of her.

 Weeks after Abby’s first heart surgery I left the hospital for once to spend the night with my two other children.  I was exhausted, worried and unwilling to leave Abby’s side.  A whisper from my mother reminded me that Gabbi the Arch Angel would let no harm come to my baby. 

If you are fortunate enough to be swept up into the tornado of Gabbi’s love you will survive.  You will be bounced around enough to teach you strength to bear life’s lessons.  You will be loved fiercely enough to know that when you land a hug and a pat on the head will be your cushion. 

My dear sweet, magnetic, passionate beautiful Gabbi.  How it made my heart swell to see you so dutifully and lovingly fuss with the train of my daughters wedding dress on her big day.  It reminded me of my lovely cathedral length veil that you worked so diligently to place pearls on with my Mom.  You are woven into the fabric of my life.  

I wish I could write the tales of Gabbi.  It would be a book full of hysterical tales that would make you laugh until the tears ran down your cheeks or legs.   Stories of chewing gum, sanitary pads and tail pipe sucking donkeys to name just a few. Gabbi’s world is full of “you can’t make this sh*t up moments”.

Bless you, my second string Mom on this Mother’s Day.  Bless you for being my mother’s best friend and wing man.  Most of all, Bless you for just being the wonderful you.  ❤️

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