the religion of food.

My mom passed away two years ago and I almost called her twice this week.

When incredible or horrific things happen in my life, I still have this urge to call. When I say urge, I mean I literally forget for 1 micro-second that she is no longer available to me on this Earth and I almost reach for the phone. This doesn’t happen too often, but in the past week it has happened twice.

I am pretty sure this private phenomenon is increasing as the holidays rapidly approach. As I talk with colleagues and friends and dates about the traditions of our respective families, it’s fun to remember the trees and the turkeys and the cards and decorations. But most of all, in my family, it was really all about the food. My father was raised Jewish, my grandmother Spanish Catholic, my mom Christian. I was raised with brisket, paella and Christmas sugar cookies. The religion of food.

Unfortunately, these family food traditions have passed alongside my mother. Well, in my house anyway. But the holidays still bring a flood of memories that make me nostalgic for a little bit of all of it.

I remember we were all packed up in the car, ready for a long drive to the grandparents’ house, when my mom declared she “forgot her purse” and ran back into the house. She was gone about 10 minutes and hid Easter eggs everywhere inside. I came back a week later, discovered the eggs, and knew the Easter Bunny had to be real.

I remember when my mom asked me if I wanted to finally learn how to make a paella and I was ecstatic and I helped and the rice burned at the bottom. We ate and loved every last bite.

I remember my mom’s stories of when she gave me my first ice cream cake and let me smear it all over my face and took pictures and showed them to every boyfriend I’ve ever had.

I need to tell my mom I miss her even more at the holidays.

I need to tell my mom I have MS.

I need to tell my mom I have MS and I am doing great.

I need to call my mom and tell her about this blog post and the dishes I am going to make at Thanksgiving and the support group I finally have off the ground and how grateful I am for the memories and the food and for her and for all of it. I want to share with her every thought and feeling and happening in my astounding, beautiful life.

Thank goodness she already knows.

4 Comments

  1. So powerful, Tracy. You made me laugh and cry and stop to appreciate every memory. I love the deep bond you will always have with your Mom. When you miss her so much and are reaching for the phone to call, it’s surely because you’re feeling her close to you and she’s letting you know she’s right there. She must be so proud of you.

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  2. I am sorry I am a little late, but this was an amazing post. I know around the holidays we tend to miss those that are no longer with us even more. I must believe that all those that left this earth are still with us in our hearts and spirit. Lots of love sweetie!

    Like

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