Did you see that video about the woman whose husband, a cop, was shot in the line of duty? She was tearful, but filled with hope and joy because they had been to daily Mass that morning and she kept saying how she would miss his thumbs.
I miss Mary's thumbs. She had "McMullen" thumbs, or Irish thumbs, or "toe" thumbs as we used to tease her. Apparently, clubbed thumbs is a real thing and celebrity Megan Fox has it too.
Mary had a severe peanut allergy. She had a seizure as a toddler, back in the 80s when severe allergies were a relatively new thing. I always thought her allergy had something to do with the fact that the night before she was born, Halloween, my mom lay on the living room sofa with a bowl of Snickers on top of in utero Mary. I don't think I've seen my mom eat Snickers since.
Mary loved movies, books, technology, OPI nail polish, Bare Minerals make up, and Vera Bradley. She liked the banana flavored Laffy Taffys, and she always ordered her Lion's Choice sandwich with extra seasoning.
She was more Irish than the rest of us, I think. I remember one of her first appointments at the pediatrician as a newborn. The doctor said, "Mary Margaret O'Brien. You can't get more Irish than that."
A few nights before she died, her husband, my brother and his wife, the Chef and I all sat around her bed swapping silly stories. Mary sat up and told us this hilarious tale...
There was a problem at her school where the kindergarten boys were hitting each other in the crotch. At recess, in the building, all the time. The faculty had narrowed it down to a few ringleaders, one suspect, a notorious bad boy. He, of course, blamed a very sweet, innocent boy who never got in trouble.
The principal, and Mary's friend, Lisa, brought in the good kid for questioning. First of all, the grown ups were too delicate about the problem. The kid was nervous and obviously confused. Finally, Mary's friend blurted out, "Have you been hitting other boys in the crotch?"
His adorable response, "Not Weecently!"
Mary laughed and laughed. She loved to tell a good story. And she was a great listener too.
Recently, Mary has been listening to my aunt's petitions. My aunt had a double mastectomy last weekend after a long bout with chemo. She has been anxiously awaiting the results of her tests from the surgery. She got the call this morning on Mary's birthday, that she is cancer free.
Happy Birthday Mary! Dad loves to point out that you were born on your feast day.
As Mary's birthday gift to all, she wants me to share her last words to me with everyone:
"I love you, too."