Mom loved people and she loved life. I saw it in the way she took care of us, and her care for others.
She treated others children as if they were her own, and treated those children equal to her own. Over the years other children stayed with us, and mom’s care for them was consistent.
When my cousins stayed with us, they told me how much they appreciated her, and the way she took care of them. I thought that was very cool.
She appreciated nature and the environment. I saw it in the way she took care of plants and her garden. She taught me that growing your own food is possible, as long as you nurture your soil.
She would cook your favourites upon request, if you asked politely. I used to bring apple crisp and peanut brittle to school for my class mates. They loved it, and told me I was lucky, but it was an everyday thing to me. I appreciated this more after I moved out.
Regardless of how much money we had, mom made sure we ate a cooked meal every night. She always made something out of nothing. Mom could stretch the littlest ingredients to last through the week, I used to think she was a magician.
She would wake up early, even on weekdays to make breakfast for us. I used to wonder how and when she had the energy to get through the day.
I admired her natural beauty, the way she french braided her hair, and still glowed with zero make up. I appreciated the way she took care of my hair, braiding my hair, which taught me to love my natural self…..
I’m sitting here alone in a small, dimly lit contemporary office, high in the sky. Looking down at the busy toronto midtown street that we used to frequent with her. I visioned her walking with a bunch of children around her, pushing a stroller through the crowd. Folks stopping her to ask, “Are they ALL YOURS?!!” and her calmly responding. She never acted rude to strangers who were nosey or curious. She was a married woman, had us in her twenties, and we all share the same father, but folks couldn’t help but assume…Her youthful appearance attracted positive and negative attention. I once asked her, “Doesn’t that get annoying mom???” and she said, “I know their going to do it anyway, so I don’t allow it to get to me….”
My appreciation for her, some of my fondest memories, what I miss about her, and her lessons are ingrained in my soul. I hope she’s resting in peace.