The Year of Mom
|Celebrating Mom at The Broadmoor|
|Mom’s favs at The Broadmoor|
At a recent checkup, I complained that I’d put on 15 pounds this year without really changing my eating habits. “Any big life changes?” asked the doctor. “Well my mother died,” I said, dismissing out of hand the idea that I could be grieving.
|That’s her at the table|
Grieving is uncertain terrain. I know that. But now I wonder if all this insistence on my part in celebrating my mom is masking not only missing her, but missing the mom I wish I’d had. I reach out to her through food, the things she liked to eat, when perhaps I should be speaking to her ghost and getting some things straight. I can’t go on carrying her forever.
In the end, food was my mother’s biggest pleasure, one of a handful of pleasures she allowed herself in her life time of too little happiness. It is one of mine as well. It seems natural to connect with my mother this way, to celebrate a shared passion. But in doing so over the last six months, I think I’ve been trying to rewrite the script of our story. My mother was loving and sweet in the end, but she was not always this way. I understand the lionization of the dead, the drive to remember the good things–that instinct is natural–but the real celebration of a life is holding the whole thing in your hands and still loving what you see. Until I can do that, mom will be the ghost who continues to haunt my days.