The photo is of her when she was about my age, maybe younger. This is one of the many ways I remember her. At this age, she was vibrant and full of life. A terrible cook, though. I used to dread meal times. Don't worry, she got better at it. By the time I was a teenager, I actually looked forward to her meals.
On our recent trip to Japan, I found myself buying and eating things just because they were things that reminded me of my mother. I found, also, that that was something some of her friends did also. My mom had a real sweet tooth. She loved Japanese sweets that were filled with or made with anko (sweet bean paste).
I credit my mom with many things in my life. Here are a few:
+ I'm a pretty decent piano player. My mom sacrificed to make sure I got my lessons. (We didn't have disposable cash when I was a kid.) She also didn't give me a choice about the matter, and I'm glad for that. I think of her every time I sit at a piano.
+ My tastes in food. I like salty things and sweet things. Oh, and spicy things. Basically, the kinds of foods she preferred, I prefer.
+ The confidence to do the things that I've done. Many things that I have done, I did because she said I could do it. I guess that's a mom's job, right?
The list could go on and on.
It's been a little over a year since she died, and I still think about her all the time. I think I still miss her as much as I did a year ago, but it doesn't hurt nearly so much. Ellie still remembers her vividly. It's amazing the things she recalls--like the park they used to walk to every day the summer that she lived with us.
I just wanted to say "thanks, mom, wherever you are," on this not-Mother's Day.
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