Back on a May morning in New York City when I was 12, my friends and I had tickets to see a Yankee game – yes, it was so long ago kids could still do that sort of thing on their own!
I strolled into my mother's bedroom where she was sipping her first of many cups of coffee. I wished her a happy Mother's Day and I told her I was departing to see the Bronx Bombers do their thing.
"You're doing what?" she asked.
As the first tear streamed down her cheek, I knew that I was going to have explain to my friends that I wasn't making the game. I was staying home to make my mom a very sketchy breakfast at best.
Dorothy Flay (known as Dame Dorothy to her closest friends) had a verve for life that was unbounded, though she spent most of her adult years as a single mother. And I'll just say this: I wasn't the easiest kid to raise, culminating with dropping out of high school after 9th grade. Still, when I finally found some focus and got a job, my mother wound being my greatest cheerleader. I knew from my experiences as a 12-year-old that Mother's Day had to be planned, no matter what.
First of all, it had to be brunch – a classic Eggs Benedict and a Mimosa.
There was also dress code. I had to wear a suit, or at the very least a sports jacket. And then there was the mandatory carnation – a tradition that signified if your mother was living (a pink one) or that she had passed (white).
My mother died almost exactly two years ago, and living through this pandemic had me thinking about her even more. In some ways I'm relieved she didn't have to navigate her way through the danger of it. I'm pretty sure I would have been pulling Dame Dorothy out of her favorite Jersey Shore hangout nursing a chocolate martini with her favorite bartender.
So, today is Mother's Day, and not even a global crisis is going to keep me from celebrating to me the greatest mother in the world. She wouldn't allow it, so, let's get it on!
Forty-three years ago the Yankees had to play a game with one less person in the stands. Today, coronavirus, you're gonna have to sit this one out. 'Cause brunch is served in all of its glory… and there's nothing that can stop us.
Happy Mother's Day!
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Story produced by Ed Forgotson. Editor: Chad Cardin.