I am notoriously forgetful when it comes to important holidays. Family lore has it that I fail to come through more often than not. Terrible. And of course, all the more terrible because I come from the most loving family I can imagine. My mom, a striking beauty and the creative leader of our clan, set the bar for my sister and me. Charm! Ambition! Style! Humor! I have vivid memories of her across the dinner table, elbow propped, wrist folded, bangle bracelets tumbling to and fro as she provokes those still lingering after the meal. Teasingly wicked at times, her sharpness was buffered by a gullible innocence. She was, in effect and as far as I could tell, the perfect blend. She glowed while other mothers appeared worn and mortal. But come bedtime, she was the one tucking me in, pale yellow chenille robe wrapped around her petite frame. These were my favorite moments and reassured me that all that sparkle was mine. My mom.

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