An Ode To My Many Mothers

Forgive me if I get a bit sentimental today. Mother’s Day looms, and I find myself missing my DotMom something fierce.

Only those who have lost their mother can understand the bereftness (is that a word? — Mom would know if it was allowable) one feels in anticipation of the day that honors our maternal parents. But it’s a void that is felt much more often than one day a year.

Although Dot has been gone for more than 10 years now, every day at 11 a.m. I still fight the urge to pick up the phone and dial Mom’s number. It was a habit I got into during the last years of her life, as she was prone to sleeping in late. The dual purpose of my daily phone call was to check on her welfare  and nudge her into getting out of bed and joining the wakeful world.

But today I’m not going to linger on how much I miss my mommy or share anecdotes about Life with Dot, although there are many that come to mind that you would all enjoy. Instead, I choose to reflect on the many wonderful women who have stepped up over the last decade to fill the void that DotMom left behind.

First of all, there’s my dear mom-in-law, who from the very beginning of Bryan’s courtship (it took a bit of wooing to get me to see him as a boyfriend rather than just a friend) has been the best sort of in-law for whom a girl could hope.

I’ve also been blessed with an amazing aunt, who is partnered with an equally amazing uncle. They treat me and my siblings as extensions of their own brood. We know we are always welcome at their house, and they never fail to make us feel special and loved or to offer support and advice when needed.

Then there are my dearly departed mother’s friends. Although they have dwindled in number ( I’m pretty sure there is one heck of a bridge game going on up in heaven), those who remain have continued to remember me in so many ways. I am blessed with birthday cards, emails and hugs that remind me that I am special to them, because my mother was special to them.

And some mothersdaycard2of my best friends’ mothers have also “adopted” me, letting me call them “Mom” and remembering me on my birthday and at Christmas.

Last, but certainly not least, there is my sister —  my MUCH OLDER sister. (OK, so 10 years isn’t as big an age gap as it once was.) She has always been my second mother, a role that I’ve come to accept over the years, although it was abrasive at times in my younger years. Like DotMom, she is a fretter, so I can predict what will send her into a flurry of worry. But it’s nice to be worried about, especially in the absence of a parent. She’s also a sounding board for decisions, big and small, and a friend when I need one.

And like DotMom, she’s a scavenger of recipes, providing me often with fodder for this blog. And so it is fitting, on this day before Mother’s Day, to end with a recipe from the files of my second mom, Sister Margaret. She sent me this a while back, and I recently came across it in the depths of my email file.

Happy Mother’s Day to all those who have “mothered” me over the years (you know who you are!)

Chicken Fried Rice

1 tablespoon dark sesame oil

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 8 ounces total), cut into cubes or strips

½ bag frozen mirepoix (onions, celery carrots) vegetable mix

½ bag frozen corn

1 bag coleslaw mix

1 cup cooked brown rice

1 egg

Cook chicken breasts in the sesame oil. Remove meat from pan and set aside.

To the pan, add the coleslaw, mirepoix and corn and cook until warmed through. Add cooked rice and continue to cook.

Lightly beat the egg and add to the pan, continuing to stir the mixture until the egg is cooked through. Serve with soy sauce.