People wonder where I get my cooking skills from.
Stark reality time.
My mother and father were not the best parental units. My mother did not let a day go by without telling me that I was a mistake, and never planned. My father’s plan of action on dealing with an unwanted child was to just leave. I guess you can say, he gave up before he even tried to help raise a girl.
I reflect on my upbringing a lot, to try and sort out why I do the things I do, the attitude I have, plus the overall outlook I have on life. Considering what I was handed in life, I feel I have a pretty amazing attitude towards humanity and the planet. I see people who grew up with similar tribulations, and see how they struggle to meet the smallest of life expectations.
As a small child, after my bio-pop ditched my two older brothers and me, my mother then became to sole money maker for the family, subsequently, she was never home. The work she took to was not of the best social standing, and I am sure paid more than what she contributed to our well being and health.
There were days where we would have nothing to eat other than what we got from the neighbors. My mother never made the effort to get price reduced or free lunches for my brothers or me due to her pride in trying to make our family survive. Sometimes, my mother would “find us a babysitter” and the babysitter would feed us. Needless to say, I loved going to the babysitter.
Her negative attitude towards me stemmed from her not wanting me in the first place, and not wanting another female in the house. Her neglect forced me into learning how to cope and deal with much more mature situations than any 8 year old should have to deal with. Teen rebellion was being sewed deeply into me at a very young age.
Looking back on how things were then, I am lucky to have survived. Every day I went hungry, which was countless days, I promised the universe that I would do whatever I can to not be hungry again. So much like Scarlett O’Hara, but at a much younger age.
Before my mother passed away, she had a stroke and was diagnosed with lung cancer. I took on being her caregiver, doing my duty as a daughter and human. I would go to her house about 4 times a week to help out, do what I could for her, you know, cooking and cleaning and stuff. I expected nothing from her for this, other than her comfort. I did consider this the last bastion of rebellion towards her. Being far more kind than she ever was to me.
Something must have triggered my mother during this time, she tried to make amends with me. She apologized to me for how she had raised me and how she had always treated me. It was a strange moment of clarity for both of us. This kind of floored me. This apology she offered was some serious validation for me. So I made her pancakes. Then we ate the best pancakes I had ever made.
My mother taught me nothing as far as a traditional role model mother should. Not directly at any rate. If it were not for my mother not feeding my brothers and me, I would not have the passion for good food today. My mom indirectly taught me to glean from anything and everything to find the best things to eat. Yet, she told me nothing. I wish I could tell all y’all that before she died that we bonded and crap like that. Sadly, the stark reality is that never happened. She went to her grave not liking or wanting me. It’s true, she made it a point of telling me. Her last words to me were “I hate you!” said with more venom than a pit of vipers.
The happy ending to all of this is that I am now free of her abuse. I can say that I loved my mother as best I could with the tools she gave me, and tried to make a better life for my kids than the one she gave me. I didn’t end up ruining my life because my mom and dad didn’t love me. I became a stronger, better person in spite of their lack of effort.
I have this level of respect and awe for good parents, and weird families. I love seeing fathers wanting to be involved in their children’s lives. I revel in stories of close families, and their antics. It warms my heart to no end, keeps me on the level that not all humans suck.