Via, short for Olivia, was an amazing mama. She oozed love, comfort, and grace toward her mini-me, Lanie.
Two peas in a pod Via and Lanie were: they looked alike with their thick dark hair, bangs abruptly cut by the eyebrow line; they were both a little chunky; and they even dressed alike.
Via tended to little Lanie with such grace, always keeping an eye on her when her actual hands weren’t available– which wasn’t that often. When Lanie wanted to slide, Via got up from the small group of adults congregating on the patio and hovered a bit over wobbly Lanie. When Lanie’s mouth seemed dry, Via was right there offering a sippy cup of water.
At one point during the Labor Day barbeque, I noticed Lanie sitting in a chair on the patio with a yellow-frosted cupcake. Some of the cake and lots of the frosting ended up on Lanie’s purple dress. Soon her dad Darren slammed down his beer bottle, found a napkin, and started wiping the front of Lanie’s dress while looking around the yard.
“Oh no, did she spill?” Via sang as she swooped toward her family.
“Poor thing, it’s okay.”
“Maybe if you were watching her more carefully this wouldn’t have happened,” Darren snapped under his breath, plastic smile on.
“Oh it’s okay,” Via continued to sing to Lanie.
Darren tossed the napkin on the table, clutched the brown beer bottle, and glided back to the group of guys he was talking to before he was horribly interrupted. Via scooped Lanie into her lap and they both finished the cupcake.
About a month after the barbeque, Via, neighbor to my sister who hosted the barbeque, was in the hospital. Rumor has it she tried killing herself and Lanie by driving the car they were both in off the side of the highway and straight into a ditch at full speed.