Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day of the Dead

Internet problems yesterday so I missed out of the first day of VeganMoFo 2010.  Sad face.
However, we had a great day at ballet and then celebrating the Day of the Dead.  I don't know if I've mentioned here before that my sister has been living with us for a few months.  It is great to have her here when she isn't furry animal/house sitting and I thought it would be nice for her to join our Day of the Dead tradition.  (See past Day of the Dead posts here and here.)
We went to the Y Eatery for Pad Thai, the traditional lunch for our particular celebration.  My mother used to work in the Y building and had a special friendship with the original owner of Y Thai (what many people call the Y Eatery).  Mom introduced me to Pad Thai and this tofu Pad Thai at the Y was one of her favorite things to eat.  She would often bring Y Thai over to my house when I was a new mom and we would chat before she had to go on her way.  Parker ate Y Thai Pad Thai regularly before he was a year old.
The kids love Thai and this is the best Pad Thai in town.  All three ate their share (there was just switching of plates so Josie could eat more lettuce and Dema could eat less and Josie ate all my tofu and seitan) and then Parker and Dema each ordered another plate.  Karen joined us for lunch and we had a chance to chat with people we knew.  It has been way too long since we've been there for lunch.
Playing chess after Pad Thai at the Y is part of the experience for the kids, but I tore them away from the game so we could head out to the cemetery.
We told stories about my mom.  It was nice to have my sister there to add her stories.  Karen tends to focus on the things my mom did for the community.  I like those stories, but I prefer to tell stories which are more personal in nature.  Ones about her being my mom, their grandmother.  It was good to have a balance.
Ironically, Josie started calling one of her imaginary friends (they are usually imaginary sisters or brothers...she would like us to have more children) by the name Deloris a couple days ago.  When I talk about my mom, I don't usually use her name.  I call her mom or grandma so I was kind of surprised when Josie started using the name, Deloris.  The boys know the whole Day of the Dead tradition, but this is the first time Josie has really been aware of what we are doing.  She was understandably confused why we were leaving some Pad Thai for someone who can't eat.  We've talked about how a part of my mom is still alive through us so she thought that part might want to eat the Pad Thai.  I love discussing life and death with my kids.  All three of them, as most kids, have such wisdom when it comes to living and dying.  I wonder why we often lose this wisdom as we age.

On the way home, we went past The Center for Women in Transition.  It is amazing to see how it has grown since the years my mom worked to start the then named, Women's Emergency Shelter.  This vision took a lot of my mom's time and energy when I was about Parker's age.  It grew over the years and mom always stayed involved and I think she would be happy TCfWiT now has three houses and a resale shop.
We talked about the Evans house named after my mom.  The kids enjoy having a house for women and children in need named after their grandmother.
We all rode in Karen's car this year and the kids were obviously still pretty tired from our Halloween Party.  Even the boys fell asleep on the ride home.  The Day of the Dead is always a good day for me, but a little draining.  I love remembering my mom in a special way each year.  Of course, I think of her daily and she is always with me.  I owe my love of food, cooking, and compassion to my mother.  She was always supportive of my food choices and everything else in my life.  She was there for my bad decisions and the highlights.  My favorite memories of her as a grandmother are in the kitchen with Parker or making special foods for him.  My veganism is in some ways a tribute to my mother.  She wasn't veg, but she lit the fire to make the connections in life.  As I look at her grandchildren, I see her living on and look forward to where they will take her legacy of food and love.

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