I cried at the shampoo bowl today. As my hairdresser (and good friend) washed my hair, I had a memory of my mom as I do. Many times a day. Every single day.
And when Mandy (hairdresser) asked me about what I was going to eat when I got home (because I was waxing poetically about how hungry I was), I envisioned a salad. A big, robust salad full of crisp veggies and homemade garlic croutons. AND THEN I FUCKING CRIED. Because I remember my mom emphatically telling me about the salads she would make and how she was always sure to let me know her ingredients were organic.
“Honey, I made THE BEST salad with organic romaine lettuce, and organic cucumbers, and organic tomatoes, and organic cauliflower, and organic…”
I would often laugh and say, “Okay, Ma. I get it. You’re all about organic vegetables.”
And as I thought about my own salad today, and all of my own organic ingredients, I became extremely saddened that I’ll never have the chance to hear, sometimes with annoyance, about all of her fucking organic ingredients that would comprise her beautiful fucking salad. And then I thought about how it has been so long since I’ve heard her sweet voice and her boisterous laugh; and then I realized, like I have infinite times before, that I’ll never hear any of it ever again. Like literally NEVER. AGAIN.
And I’m sure you’re all like, “Uh, yeah. How are just realizing this now?”
But I didn’t just realize it today. I realized it the day we found out the cancer had spread to her brain. I realized it the night before she died, when she called me out of nowhere. I realized it on my drive to my aunt’s house the day she passed, hours before she did. I realized it the moment her soul left this earth. And I’ve realized it a million times since.
It’s a numbing and breath-stealing realization that happens throughout the process of grief. And when you think you’re finally starting to understand this whole journey of loss, you are quickly reminded that you don’t and you probably never will. So there are and will continue to be many times that you get sucker punched with an all too familiar reality of the forever absence of your person(s). And although the reality is familiar, it’s never any less debilitating. It just may crush for a few moments as opposed to earlier in the onset of loss, it crushed for days, if not weeks. Again, grief doesn’t stop, it simply changes.
And as time passes and things change, I try harder than ever to hold onto her voice and her laugh and even her tears because I just miss her sound. Her vibrations. Her energy. And I just wish I could hear it all or at least some of it, again, in REAL LIFE. Because I still wish, to this day and will with every day to come, that she was still here in real life.
So yeah, I cried at the shampoo bowl today. By the mere thought of a salad. But like most things in life, it wasn’t a salad that actually brought me to tears. No, that salad bore more weight than just its organic ingredients. It had baggage of memories, loss, missed opportunities, infinite love, and immense sadness. That salad really wasn’t a salad at all, but just another way grief creeps up, seemingly out of nowhere, and reminds you just how much you miss your mom and her excessive reminders of her love of organic salad ingredients. Among many other things.
So with that said, I left for home after my appointment and I made a salad; a salad I believe my mom would have excitedly exclaimed, “Mmmmmm! Nummy!” to. A salad that was full of organic vegetable goodness and love and grief and memories and light and sadness. It also had those amazing homemade garlicky croutons and a red wine vinaigrette.
And as I made and ate this organic grief salad, I thought of her and how much I miss her. I thought of her laugh and her smile. I thought of her childlike wonderment and random, stream of consciousness thoughts that she’d say out loud… because who else says, “I love lemons!” In the middle of them being told a serious story? She does. And I couldn’t love her more for it.
And through the memories, I celebrated her and her love of lemons, her passion for all things organic, her genuine excitement of food in all forms, and her desire to tell you all about it. ♥️