Had she not up and died twenty five years ago, my mom would have been 95 years old this past week. For all this time, since 1990, I have been without the one person who thought I was amazing. She didn’t always think I was right or perfect, but she did think me particularly neato, a font of interesting, a bundle of possibility.
I could have used that kind of attention in the last six months when I have struggled to generate a turn for the better only to be passed over, ignored, or self-defeating. Clearly, the world is not seeing what my mom did, nor, really, do I. Feeling particularly loserly of late, I would love a tearful talk at the kitchen table, a cup of tea, and yes, a cigarette (times like these I miss a smoke, I do). “Say oh, and let it go, honey…” she’ll have minimized the hurt. “Your turn will come, you’ll see.” The homely cliches are a comfort, and a reminder to appreciate the ordinary bits of life even as what I feel I deserve remains out of reach.
That was her talent: appreciating the plain. After a traumatic childhood, she deserved better than she always got, but never lost the ability to admire the everyday. Next week we might eat steak, but taste of how delicious these peaches and cottage cheese are, this dish that’s right in front of you today. It’s lovely and whole. So. Are. You.