5 Years


Today is the 5 year anniversary of the day my mom died.  I still miss her horribly, and I’m still pissed off sometimes that she had to go and die on me, but it’s easier than it was.  More of a dull ache, not so sharp and jagged.  She was a real character, boisterous and loud at times, always with an opinion on almost anything.  She loved her kids to distraction.  She was my friends’ favorite mom, because she would listen to them, and it was obvious to them that she genuinely liked them and cared about their problems, their hopes, and dreams.  She was completely besotted by Maya, wrote her stories and letters and wished she lived closer so they could be close friends, wished she had more money so she could buy her things.   I miss her and wish she could be here to see how wonderfully Maya is turning out.  She would be so proud.

A few weeks ago was Ted’s father’s birthday.  He died almost 20 years ago now, and he would have been 91 this year.  We celebrated his life by going out to dinner at one of his favorite restaurants, The Sizzler.  Ted ordered the meal that he would have eaten, though he didn’t go so far as to order his steak well done.  In the same spirit, we decided to have my mom’s favorite dinner tonight, to celebrate her life.  Fried Chicken and Angel Food Cake, which she wrote about on her own blog.*

For my 17th birthday we were invited out for three birthday dinners, and Auntie cooked one for me as well. Grandma asked me what I wanted, and I said, “fried chicken and angel food cake;” Mommy Lyle across the street asked me what I wanted, and I said, “fried chicken and angel food cake;” Mama asked me what I wanted, and I said, “fried chicken and angel food cake;” and Auntie asked me what I wanted, and I said, “fried chicken and angel food cake.” At one point, Auntie asked me if I was sure I wouldn’t like something else at one of those meals. “Oh, no. I love fried chicken and angel food cake,” I answered obliviously. Only years later did I realize that while I got to eat fried chicken and angel food cake four nights in a row, Auntie had to. But, she never complained about it.

*Link is to the post she wrote, about her life with her great-aunt Julia, who was likely the most important person in my mom’s life in many ways, and for whom I am named.

Tonight while we’re enjoying our fried chicken and angel food cake, I’ll be thinking of both of them, my mom who was so good to me, and her great-aunt, who was so good to her.

This entry was posted in Mom.

9 thoughts on “5 Years

  1. I am amazed it’s been five years. Your mother was a very special person with a lot of wisdom. I really enjoyed reading her words and even though I never actually met her, I felt as though I had :)

    • My mom was very much how she seemed on her blog and online, though gosh, VERY opinionated and loud. I loved that about her, except when it drove me nuts.

  2. It seems impossible that it’s been five years.

    Your mom’s favourite dinner is a big hit with me. Angel food cake was always my choice for my birthday when I was a kid. And now, in NEO anyway, it’s strawberry season, so that means berries and angel cake. SO GOOD.

    Fried chicken is my guilty pleasure when it’s offered on restaurant menus as their specialty. I adore it. I don’t make it at home because it’s messy, but oh, how I love, love, love it. KFC Extra Crispy is a decent stand-in, but the sodium blows me up for days.

    I was a reader of your mom’s blog. She had such a clear voice, right up to the end. I especially remember her excitement at being brought a fast-food hamburger, hoping it would spark her appetite. (Especially since she was unlikely to get any medical MJ!)

    • My mom DID have such a great blogging voice, didn’t she? I spent a few hours looking at her blog, not the sad horrid posts of her illness and death, but her “From the Nutshell” or whatever it was named. I loved them. Reading about her childhood, her adulthood, her youth. They sounded just like her, except when we would talk in person, of course we would get distracted and start talking about something else. There’s something wonderful about the written word.

  3. Well, the tribute meal was a hit! Delicious chicken, lovely potatoes, and even the skinny broccoli was good. The angel food cake is a dessert that I never think to eat, until I eat it. And then I think, “Hey, that’s pretty good. Maybe we should have this more often.”

    I think your mom would have loved this dinner on so many levels — but mainly because it would have brought back those memories of when she was 17.

  4. Oh, I miss your mom, too.

    I’m going to sound like a not-nice person here, but it always makes me so mad when the wonderful people are taken away too soon and the old jerks like my in-laws hang on forever.

    OK, I’ll stop being 12 now.

    I totally love the idea of fried chicken and angel food cake together!

    • Well sure, there are assholes every day who cut me off on the freeway or cut spending for Meals on Wheels, and I think, “Really? My mom dies, and YOU get to live? Not fair.” Thanks for recognizing the unfairness that is our world.

      Fried chicken and angel food cake rock together. Hope everyone tries it at least once.

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