Sharon West : November 17, 1945 – April 13, 2012
Kevin’s mother and I met when we flew to Ohio for Chirstmas in 1999.
She was the mother of my at that time new serious boyfriend.
I was the guy her son decided to put roots down in Saint Louis for.
This relation would keep us at a respectful arm’s length from each other for the rest of her life.
Mothers and the spouses of their baby boys, (I suspect gay ones especially), enjoy a certain respectful resentment. (With possibly the only exception being my porn-star ex who I think *still* exchanges Christmas cards with my mom).
Sharon and I were no different. Our opinions about one another, no matter how scathing, would never break the surface of what could be called a genuine, caring civility.
The woman could make one mean lasagna – still to date – the best I’d ever had.
Meaner still would be our gossiping when I’d slip off to the kitchen over holidays to chat with her as she’d whip up family favorites. Birds of a feather… Both scorpios… I reckon she knew she had a neutral, sympathetic, yet darkly sardonic ear to chew.
Our secret bitch sessions would be punctuated by culinary secrets and pointers:
“Campbell’s Chicken Gumbo”… she’d say… “that’s the secret ingredient to my Sloppy Joes”…
I understand now that our distance was our closeness… It couldn’t have been any other way…
Happy journey ya old bird… It was a neither a pleasure… nor a burden to know you… But certainly an acquaintance I’ll never forget and will always be grateful for.