In this photo is “Fluff” (Mary) Capua and my mother.

Fluff died last week and now that she’s gone I’m willing to share her. When she was alive, I almost wanted to keep her to myself.

That was a mistake though, because this woman ironically named “Fluff” had a love much bigger and fiercer than her little frame reveals in this photo. She had enough room to love us all.

She came into my life and my mom’s life at a very challenging time. She made me feel loved, perfect, and brilliant no matter how twisted I felt inside. Never once did I feel wrong for not living like everyone else. It didn’t matter that I lived in an apartment with a friend and not in a big house with lots of kids.

She was too busy giving and loving to judge. She gave in many old-timely ways.

She left us Italian food at our door, sent us cookies when we lived far away and has sent me birthday cards for over twenty years.

This year I received this birthday card a week after she lost consciousness.

Explain that!!

Fluff wouldn’t let a little thing like death get in the way of your birthday.

My birthday this year landed on the same day as the terror attacks in Paris. It was a hard birthday. I spent the day checking on friends in France and holding my breath for the hostages.

All I wanted to do was have a cup of coffee and some soup with Fluff that day. I didn’t know she had already had a massive stroke.

She died in the best way. One stroke and then out. She lived right and died right. Rather than getting old in a way that required everyone to take care of her, she lived for taking care of others. She asked for so little and would flip over with glee when you had time for tea. I want to be like her. If I have the luxury to grow old, I want to be loving on everyone too. I know how good it felt to experience unconditional love.