Egads. How do you start your first blog post? I suppose every new writer deliberates and struggles with this. I mean, WHY am I here? Consider the possibilities… Do I want people to read it? Absolutely. Make a favorable impression? Sure. Conceit? Maybe. Inspire people to be moved by my profound ruminations? That would be lovely. Honestly though? I’m motivating myself here.
If I start this thing, and then by sheer luck, some reader becomes hopelessly hooked, and comes to expect more ruminations, then I’ll have to keep it going, right? You see, I’m big into expectations. For myself and for others. What’s so wrong with letting others know your potential? I’m also big into self-preservation. What if I sound like a prize idiot here? Oh, I fear the rejection too. But I have stuff to say. Hell yeah, I do. We all have *something* to say, right?
More than anything though, I want to declare my open love of all the amazing things – people, places, things I do, and yes, even some materialistic stuff – in my life. On the surface it may not look like I have much. Believe me, I don’t. I’m not famous. I don’t make enormous amounts of money. The world would not end if I didn’t show up at my job tomorrow. Although I like to think I’m somewhat intelligent, I’m hardly a genius. I can’t solve life’s great mysteries. I can’t even figure out my cell phone. The corner of the world I inhabit is admittedly small. And the contributions I make to it are probably even smaller. But whatever it is I am doing at the time, you can be sure it is meaningful. To me.
Let’s begin with this little nugget: my mom has terminal breast cancer. How about that? And it’s not even in her breasts anymore (oh, they’re long gone). The nasty little boogers are in her liver and lungs. Not good. She’s fought the good fight now for two years. Well, two plus the five before when she was cancer-free. This is really her second go-through. As if one wasn’t enough. So whatever.
So yeah, maybe I’m starting this blog partially to vent. To get out all the feelings of remorse, and grief, and sorrow, and depression, and anger, and helplessness, and hopelessness, and sometimes even utter apathy. Anyway, I had this brilliant idea the other day on my drive home from work…
The last year or so, I’ve been bugging my mom, carefully asking her, without suspicion, how to make stuff. As in cook stuff. As in all the wonderful food she prepared for the better part of my 40 years on this earth. Some of these dishes I know by heart. Some are even documented. But not all. This will require extracting information from not only the giant collection of hand-written tattered cookbooks in her kitchen, but also from the depths of her chemo-addled brain. And it won’t be enough for me to just write down the correct recipe – oh, hell no. In order for it to be a success in my mind, I must also recreate it – with all of Mom’s extra-special “touches” that belong in my memories – thereby mastering it. We have a long way to go, my friends. And now I feel like it’s a mission. My mission. A mission to retrieve all this important history from her brain before she… well, you know.
It’s funny how you go through life for quite some time, without a care in the world, thinking things will always be there, always the same. I even trick myself into believing stuff will just magically appear if I need it. Because, well, that’s the way it’s always been in my life. Because of Mom. My mom. She could work wonders. True stuff, no kidding. I’ll let you in on a little secret right now: I’m one of the lucky ones – my mom is awesome, with a capital A-W-E-S-O-M-E. She can do pretty much anything. Except win this battle with cancer. Not so lucky there at the moment.
So. WHY am I here? Because loving my mom is something I want everyone to know. I’m doing this to find meaning in something quite horrific. I want to document the beginning of the end of my journey with my mom in the sincerest way I know how. With love. With lots of stories. Tons of great memories. And her amazing recipes. All the good food (YUM!) I’ve had in my life. By the way, “good” does not necessarily equal “fancy,” “complicated,” or “good for you.” This is real food. Passed down from generations. So yeah. It’s about food too. Family secret-type stuff. And maybe some photos along the way, if you all get interested.
And ultimately, it’s for me. Enjoy.