Last Thursday, not realizing the date (or perhaps because, on some level, I did realize), I pulled my mom’s cookbook (a 3-ring binder full of her favorite recipes she titled “Fun in the Kitchen with Mama”–so cheesy!–and gave to each of her children for Christmas 2001) off the shelf in my kitchen. I’ve been getting bored with my usual go-to dinners and was looking for something different, yet familiar. I flipped through page after page of memories: family dinners, special breakfasts, holiday treats. It wasn’t until the next morning, when I saw my mother’s face plastered all over my sister’s Facebook feed, that it hit me.
Six years. Gone.
At first, I beat myself up a little, letting the date slip my memory like that. But then I thought, why hold onto that day so tightly, remembering the worst day, giving it significance above all others? Better to hold her memory always, in the thousand little things she taught me, in how she influences my own mothering daily.
I showed my daughter the photos. “That’s Grammy,” I told her. “Grammy!” she repeated excitedly, and we talked about the other people in the pictures, how young they all looked.
Last night I made my mom’s ravioli soup. Sort of. I had to improvise (something else she taught me) because the small grocery store near our house only had tortellini, but the scent that filled the house and the just-cooked freshness of the zucchini reminded me of my mother in all the very best ways.
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