For Mom — And All The Women Who Came Before Me

It’s Mother’s Day in Canada and the U.S. For me, it is a day of gratitude mixed with nostalgia. Gratitude for the three amazing, beautiful young women I am so very honored to call my daughters; nostalgia for the mother I lost far too soon. Mom was only 62 when she died 6 years ago and I was nowhere near ready to lose her wisdom and guidance. She possessed remarkable insight and had a way of listening without judgment that made it incredibly easy to talk to her and to sort out my sometimes very muddled thoughts. Her death left an enormous hole in my life that exists to this day. I’ve become accustomed to her absence, but it’s a rare day that I don’t think of her and miss her terribly.

That said, however, I also feel her continued presence — sometimes in surprisingly powerful ways. The following is something that I wrote a year after she died. It’s one of the many things I wish I could have shared with her, and yet I suspect she already knew. I hope you enjoy — and if your own mother is still in your life, do me a favor and give her a hug from me. Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!

 

I work alone in my sun-dappled kitchen. Perspiration beads on my forehead. It’s harvest season, and a thousand tasks await me. On the stove top, a pot of tomato sauce simmers; beside me, a bowl of sliced apples waits for its pasty shell. The steady thump and squeak of the rolling pin punctuates the silence.

I turn the pastry and roll again, thinking back over the many years and many pies to the woman who taught me what I know now. I am transported back to another kitchen and a time when other hands guided my own, showing me how to shape, to mold, to create. Hands that were taught by other hands still, and those by hands before them.

Suddenly, though my kitchen holds only me, I am no longer alone. Dozens of women have joined me: my mother, her mother, her mother’s mother…generations of teachers who have passed down their knowledge, their skills. Strong, capable hands that are all gone now, but still live on in my own. The rolling pin squeaks again in a rhythm that belongs to all of us.

Coming into the kitchen, my daughter asks if she can help. I show her how to peel more of the tomatoes brought in from the garden. The other women move to make room for her and, through me, to guide her.

I smile as I feel another link forged in an ageless, timeless connection.

 

 


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Comments

4 responses to “For Mom — And All The Women Who Came Before Me”

  1. D. D. Syrdal Avatar

    That was really beautiful. I lost my mom 6 years ago, too, just a couple short weeks after Mother’s Day. I don’t know who said it, maybe I just read this on a greeting card once, but I always like this saying, “Those we love never die: they live in our hearts forever.” Happy Mother’s Day.

    1. Linda Avatar
      Linda

      Thank you, D.D. — and I love that sentiment, too. Hugs! 🙂

  2. Elaine Avatar
    Elaine

    ((hugs))

    1. Linda Avatar
      Linda

      Thank you, Elaine! 🙂

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