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Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Kitchen Counter Wisdom


The best memories I have of my mother were of our morning tea drinking sessions during my teen years. We sat on bar stools at the kitchen counter, each drinking two or three cups of hot milky tea. Those were the best conversations we ever had, and I recall them to this day.


There was no telling where our conversations would go, but invariably she wove some real life wisdom into the theme of the day by the time we finished drinking cup number two.

Ours was a complex relationship. As a child I couldn’t understand her, and was always trying to avoid her sudden outbursts. These days, I understand her better. Her role in my life was largely as a negative role model, meaning she taught me more about how I did not want to be than how I did want to be. I’m very thankful to her for that.  

Colombian emeralds were my mother’s favorite gem stone. My father gifted her several stunning sparklers over the years. Emeralds are said to aid in faithfulness and forecasting, and she was both a very faithful wife, and a gifted psychic. She often forecast the future from across the kitchen counter, and her perceptions were usually accurate. Unfortunately, she was afraid of her psychic abilities and shut them down in the end.

She always took great pride in her garden, especially her tropical flowers. Geraniums, hibiscus, bougainvillea, birds of paradise and lilies of the valley were her favorites. Spending time with her flowers brought her more happiness than almost anything else.

A quirky fact about her is that she had a wild pet lizard named Lizzie. He lived under our outdoor refrigerator on the patio. Every morning around 11am he came out and awaited her. She gave him bread and he gobbled it up. He was the biggest lizard ever. There was a great bond between my mother and the lizard, and this continued for years.

Mother, May I…..? Questions I Should Have Asked My Mother

She was a very tense and intense woman, and believed children should be seen and not heard. My brother and I were never allowed to ask questions while growing up.

She’s been gone for nearly thirty years already. She had breast cancer in her mid-forties, and was told to stop smoking if she wanted to improve her chances of survival. Defiant to the end, she told the doctor she’d rather die with a cigarette in her hand. A decade later she died of lung cancer.

There are many questions I’d love to ask her. Some are too private, but here are a few.

Why Did You Never Let Me Learn To Cook?

Why Did You Keep Smoking After Breast Cancer?

Why Didn’t You Open The Antique Shop You Always Wanted?

Why Did You Send Us Away To Boarding School When You Were So Lonely?

I wouldn’t trade my mother for anything. So now, I raise a toast with a hot cup of milky tea and say~To Mary~I love you.


GEMMA JULIANA is a multi-published author who lives in an enchanted cottage in Texas with her handsome hero, teen son and a comical dog. She loves making new friends and hearing from readers. Exotic coffee and chocolate fuel her creativity. You can buy Gemma’s books on Amazon.  

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5 comments:

Cara Marsi said...

Gemma, what a beautiful post and a good tribute to your mother.

Melissa Keir said...

Your mom sounds like a remarkable woman.

Gemma Juliana said...

Thanks, Cara and Melissa. Sometimes the real gems are buried and we have to dig for them.

jean hart stewart said...

An unusual woman and anyone would like to know....

jean hart stewart said...

An unusual woman and anyone would like to know....

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