|Mom eating food.|
It's Mother's Day. A holiday you used to refuse to celebrate on principle because your mother wasn't a mom. Her brain was chemically imbalanced and rendered her incapable of demonstrating love. Having your mother around was like having your surly neighbor who thinks you always have the music on way too loud living with you.
As a child, though, you don't understand that it's a chemical imbalance. You just understand that your mother doesn't like you. No hugs, no touching, no "I love you"s. You blame yourself. You definitely did something one day to make her stop loving you. What did you do to make her stop loving you?
And that's a question you will ask yourself of everyone in every relationship you'll ever have. Your breakups with boyfriends will hurt even more because you did something to make him stop loving you. He'll just never admit what it was, and you'll reel, you'll spin, you'll obsess over every possible little thing far longer than most people need to mourn.
Eventually, you'll get therapy, you'll understand some things, understand your negative behaviors you developed as defense mechanisms. You picking fights with people you love to gauge whether or not they would leave you if something happened to mess up your brain chemicals? Defense mechanisms!
And you'll grow older. And you'll accept that certain things were not your fault, are not your fault, will never be your fault.
And you'll feel like an asshole for not celebrating Mother's Day. Your surly neighbor could not help thinking your music was too loud. The chemicals in her brain push the music so loud that in her head, it's unbearable.
So you live. You adopt your best friend's mom as your own and you allow yourself to be loved by someone who understands what you went through because she too lived with her surly neighbor when she was growing up. It's hard at first to accept the love, but you find a way to do it.
And you adjust. And you get better. And you accept.
You're the closest child to your mother's care facility so you visit. You visit because now you want to. The roles have changed. She is older, frail. You are young, strong. You take her hand and guide her, describing any changes in the flooring, or where a threshold is, because she has cataracts now and can't see and she'll trip if you're not specific. You want to take her out for Mother's Day, but crowds make her uneasy, so you take her out the day before.
She prefers to stay in the car.
You talk to her like you always do, updating on family, life, things in the world. You get her a grande cinnamon dolce frappoccino with whipped cream and a spoon because that's how she likes it and it makes you wonder if it's a sense memory of her eating milkshakes with her dad at a drug store before he died when she was 13.
You know your mother didn't have the easiest life either.
So she is filled with wisdom, and despite her off kilter chemistry, some of it makes sense.
You always ask her advice. It's the best bonding you can do, because for a very brief time, her brain is balanced and she is wise.
"So what advice do you have for me today?" you ask.
"Okay, and how do I go about doing that?"
And you smile, because of course, food is delicious! But you also think about her advice long after you drop her off back at her care facility and say goodbyes.
Eating food is a family event. You go out to eat with your friends. Food is always prepared when you visit someone.
Eating food is sharing food is taking in sustenance is living.
Eating food is cooking food is smelling food is tasting food.
You will be eating food tonight with your friends.
And you will think, Thank you Mom, for your advice. You are profound.
And you are happy.
And you want to tell everyone, Hey! It's easy! You too can Be Happy!
All you gotta do...
Is Eat Food.