Remembering birthdays – a daughter’s perspective

In the Jewish tradition, we light a candle on the anniversary of someone’s death date.

The night before my mom passed away, I left the hospital and went to meet a friend of mine for dinner. She had a lovely tradition in which to honor her father. She would go have his favorite meal on his birthday. (He loved steak.)

Today is my mother’s birthday. I decided to borrow my friend’s tradition. I began this last year. On my mother’s birthday, I make one of her very favorite foods — eggs benedict — with turkey bacon, instead of Canadian. I’m also making brownies, which she loved.

From my perspective, I don’t need to remember when she died. That date is indelibly imprinted on my brain. Instead of thinking of her death, I choose to remember her life, by doing what we always do when we celebrate – eat good food — and on her birthday, not her death date.

My mother loved eggs — egg salad was her favorite lunch. She loved quiche (made with real cream and eggs), chocolate mousse, real whipped cream, coconut custard pie, cream brulee, and most any other kind of custard which involved full fat eggs and cream. The good stuff, as she used to say.

I’m glad to be able to celebrate her life tonight by eating fun food. I’m also wearing one of her favorite winter sweaters – it’s as warm as a wool coat (which is good on a cold day like today) and bright coral, which looks interesting with my red hair. My daughter chose to wear pink today, in honor of her grandmother, as it was as close to red as she has. My mother’s favorite color was red, which looked great on her – she was a brunette. My daughter and I are redheads.

Those individual bits of us, which make us who and what we are. A favorite color, a favorite food, a favorite author.

My mother loved to knit and sew – both of which, thankfully, my daughter is doing. My mother also loved reading books by Janet Evanovich. One of her most recent titles became available for me to check out on my Kindle last night – she’s one of my favorite authors as well. (I think I read up to chapter 8 before bed.)

Our loved ones live on within us. For that, I am always grateful.

May her memory be a blessing.