“You can put that hideous looking container of whatsoever near her grave!”My great aunt that disliked my mother and I very much exclaimed, while patting her gradma-ish dress, and walking farther away from me with a disgusted look.
I was still, a little hurt actually from her mean comment. But, I didn’t care because she meant nothing to me, let alone my life. I forced a subtle smile and walked at a slow pace to the sculpted stone. A number of thoughts instantly rushed through my mind.
28 June 1999
”Mmm! That smells de-licious, ma!” I said while licking my entire mouth with my surprisingly long tongue, and rubbing my stomach with my small palm.
“Ay, ay! Wait a minute, you little punk!” She’d say while cracking up like always. I was the reason she smiled, my mother would always remind me.
The tiny metal pot with an odd looking lid arrived at the desired destination. My eyeballs were mesmerised, they were moving at every angle as the pot whizzed around. My mother humphed loudly, and broke the silence as well as my determined concentration. The pot finally sat down on the crocheted table mat our snooty neighbour next door made for my mother‘s birthday; she didn’t want to spend her bucks that much on a ”useless“ single mother, and her flop. The pot was steaming hot and that’s why my mother taught me the other day to never touch it. Unfortunately, I foolishly ignored her wise instruction, and recklessly tapped the pot gently.
”Ouch, ouch! Ow-ow-ow-ow! Zaaaa” I removed my baby finger within seconds, and cried in distraught pain. My finger tip was as red as a tomato, but my cheeks were as red as cherries for sure. It was a teeny tiny scald, but of course I had to get some sort of attention. My tears were flowing like the Nile river and my eyes seemed like an excited kawaii character from an anime scene. My mother rushed; no, sprinted across the hallway to me. She comforted me and rubbed butter on my burn. Her soothing voice calmed me down and my tears went back to where they came from. She touched my cheek with her soft hand, and smacked my bum a few times. She held her hand with mine and looked deeply into my eyes, “Honey, don‘t ever touch the pot when it’s hot again, okay? I’m so sorry this happened to you...”
I’d nod my head in agreement, and she would rub my hair in messy manner. “I knew you were a good boy.”
Mother opened the pot lid and an flawless aroma came up from the inside. I peeped inside, but the steam burned my face a little and I removed it quickly before I got another scolding. Mother came to the miniature coffee table with two bowls and a spoon. She poured the soup into each of the two bowls, and I‘d wait impatiently for mine. The bowl clinked the table and I’d dig in with my face; it was my preferred eating style. My mom was more mannered than me in many ways, so she’d slowly eat with her spoon.
The first taste is always not quick paced and slow. As the crunchy green pepper slices were teared with my teeth, the potato pieces provided some mushy texture. The salt and pepper flavoured the broth, and the meat provided the flesh palate to my taste buds. They tingled and they danced; the ride was a fiesta to them. Lastly, in the Williams Family, soup water was drank last to cleanse the palate; not with your spoon, but with your own very hands. My mother would then collect the bowls when we were done with our meal and prayed to the Lord as thanks. We felt grateful for the food we had eaten that day, and my smile was the widest in the world. The dirty dishes were washed with cold water and running soap in the sink, and when my mother returned to me she looked tired. Her hands felt like I was experiencing Antarctica. We would always go outside and breathe in the fresh air.
She’d hold me tight in her long arms and cradle me while humming a lullaby. While rocking in her chair and looking of into the far distance where the mountains lived, and the sky met the clouds. Somewhere over the rainbow. The places we never knew. As she sang, I would fall into sleep and scrunch up my toes due to the cold. She would put a rag over my body and cover it up. She swayed her hands against my black hair and massage it.
I closed the lid tightly and checked if it was secure once again. With zero hesitation, I moved to my mother’s grave and placed the same pot she used years ago. I cooked the same exact meal she used to and safely hid it in there. The same ingredients, but with much more quantity and specialty. I hoped to achieve the same taste, scent, excitement, enthusiasm, gloriousness and warmth while preparing it. But, deep in my heart I’d always know that her way of cooking this dish would never match mine. Hers is at a much greater and better level than mine.
My great aunt shot annoyed looks and I prayed to ma secretly in my heart about things that I’d wish she knew before she moved permanently into the kingdoms above the great skies. In my mind, I will one day hope to share this exact joy to my future offspring, and give them the same care my mother had always provided me with when I was younger. Although, one thing is for sure I didn’t mention to her about how much I loved or missed her because she already knew that it was always there( lots and lots of it) deep inside the pot I placed. That was the perfect goodbye to my dear mother. I love you, mom.