Yesterday was the second Mother’s Day without my mother. It’s been a sixteen months since she passed away, yet it often seems as if I just saw her a moment ago. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her.
So on the day that we showcase our love and appreciation of our moms, memories of my own mother took a front seat. There are an endless amount of experiences that I shared with my mother. But as I sat with my husband at lunch, with a variety of dishes in front of us, I realized how much of these revolved around food.
My mother was a fantastic cook. While growing up, she would whip up amazing culinary concoctions for our family. And looking back on them with my now dietitian eyes, I see that a good number of those meals were healthy, balanced and nutritious. Today’s healthy plate that I speak about to my patients mirrors how my mother often laid out our plates so many years ago.
All the food groups were typically represented on our plates, Fruits, veggies, dairy, protein and grains were always there. And we were exposed to all different types of dishes. The world’s culinary delights were our own.
And while the meals were delicious, they were only one part of the experience. It was a given that my mother, father, sister, brother and I all sat down for dinner together every night. We ate and caught up with each other about the days that we had. My siblings and I also sat down for breakfast together during the school week and our parents joined us on the weekends. During the summer, if anywhere near home, my brother, sister and I, up until our teenage years, were also expected home for lunch. Sometimes we grumbled about the strict meal code, but now as an adult I know how important this practice was. And while I don’t have children, I continue this practice with my husband. Our dining room isn’t a place for special occasions only. It’s where we eat our dinner when we dine at home.
My mother also taught me a lot about how to cook and make my own meals. And as I prepared dinner last night I felt her presence right beside me. And as my husband and I sat down to eat, I felt she was with us. And my appreciation for her great influence in this aspect of my life brought a big smile to my face.