Happy Birthday Mom
Seventy-Four years ago today my Mother was born in The Bronx NY. We lost her nineteen and half years ago to cancer. Not a single day has gone by in these last 19 years that I have not thought about her for at least a moment.
My Mother was a complicated person. Passionate, loving, temperamental, gregarious, private… She was, to this sons eye, a beautiful woman. Tall, lean, great smile…. She was a wonderful cook and a great hostess. Loved to feed large groups. Would be heart-stricken if she thought anyone had left her table hungry. She was always concerned about my weight gain though she was also worried when I was a teen that I was not eating enough. Typical Momma….
Anyway, I just wanted to remember her here. She was a great lady. Not the easiest person in the world but she was full of passion and energy and I miss her still….
My mother loved Beef and Turkey and Chicken and Seafood. Lobster was a favorite. She could take a lobster down to its shell in no time and only a marine biologist would be able to tell you what that pile of red dust was before my mother attacked. Vegetables were OK and she made sure they were a part of every meal but I would not say she really loved veggies.
As this is her birthday, I was thinking about these things as I prepared tonight’s dinner. I couldn’t help but think that she would be slightly confused by the dinner I made tonight. Not
one vegetable came out of a can. The fish was baked with salsa on it. The beets were roasted. I don’t remember my mother EVER serving beets. I can imagine her reaction to eating beet greens. Quinoa would have left her scratching her head.
Mom was a traditionalist. Roast Beef and mashed potato with string beans out of a can on the side….
Tonight’s dinner would have been out of her comfort zone. She would have eaten it. May have even liked it. But she never would have made it.
Can you just imagine what she would say if I told her I don’t eat red meat any longer?
Keeping a Promise at Long Last
Mom wanted me to take better care of myself. After my father had bypass surgery my mother had a heart-to-heart with me about losing weight, eating right, getting exercise. She looked at me, her one over-weight son, and saw in me the same path that my father and grandfather traveled. Bad diet, no exercise, high stress job, early heart attack…
I made vague promises about taking better care… I didn’t live up to any of them…
I think about that now, 19+ years after she left us. Mom was a smoker but we are told that the cancer that got her, Islet Cell Carcinoma, does not link back to smoking. She also had a lousy diet but she took care not to eat too much and she was always in motion and managed to keep lean. Still the cigarettes..
I never smoked. My siblings don’t smoke. We have that going for us.
And now I am living right. Eating right, eating less, moving more.
I am doing at last the things I promised her more than 20 years ago that I would do.
It took me a while but I got there.
I think she would be happy. I hope she would be proud.
I am SO SO SO much Like Her
I think if you asked my family member which parent I am most like they would say I am like my mother most… I really do see my mother’s attributes in me. The good and the not so good. I am at turns generous and loving and temperamental and demanding. I am as quick to affection as I am to anger. I am talkative, friendly, gregarious, shy, calm, volatile…. I love to host, to cook, to nurture.
I would have preferred to not have her quick temper….
Otherwise, I am pretty pleased with much of the rest…
Thinking of Mom tonight. Missing her still.