O Chanukah, O Chanukah

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Light the Menorah….

Today is the first night of Chanukah. It is also the fourth Sunday of Advent and the eighteenth year since my Mother died. I always say that she died intentionally on this day – 25th of Kislev. On the Julian calendar she died on December 8th, which was the 25th of Kislev. Her yartzeit will always be on the first night of Chanukah. I know she did this on purpose; there is no excuse to forget her candle. I’ve seen others with anniversaries on other important days have mixed feelings on the sharing of a sad day with a happy one, and I do feel the sadness from eighteen years ago, but I also think fondly and lovingly on this day, remembering my mother and her ways. I see her in myself especially as I get older. I said something to my daughter tonight, and I had to pause because I sounded exactly like my mother. I think when I was younger this would have bothered me, but today, it made me feel not only closer to her, but closer to my daughter. We used my childhood menorah tonight, which will feel like putting my hand in a fiery piece of the sun by the end of the holiday; it radiates heat when all nine candles are blazing brightly.

My husband managed to find some gelt. It’s nearly impossible in this area, and I did order a small batch online, but it won’t be here until later in the week. I really like to give the kids their dreidls and gelt on the first night, and we were able to. I even found colored (blue and clear) plastic dreidls (at Target) that I could fill with the chocolate coins and one Maccabee chocolate soldier each. I’d never seen those before (from Bed, Bath, and Beyond).

I also made the best latkes I think I’ve ever made in my life. They truly were perfect and that never happens. I eat them with applesauce and sour cream, both. Why should I choose between them?! I also fried up some chicken cutlets, which were also excellent. The whole house smells of oil: olive for the chicken; vegetable for the latkes.

Here’s to the light of the season, no matter where it’s coming from or what holiday you’re celebrating this month.

(c)2022

21/52 – Moms

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Finishing out Mary’s month of May with my other mothers. We celebrated Mother’s Day. I’m the only one now. This was our first without my mother-in-law, a wonderful mother and in-law. I never understood all of those stereotypical mother in law jokes. My mother in law was no  joke. Always supportive, always kind, always welcoming. Probably would have lived another decade or more if not for the car accident. We’ll be traveling to Northern Ireland to visit her home, see where she come from, where she grew up, got her values and her skills, her independence, her enthusiasm for life.

My Mom’s birthday was yeserday. She would have been seventy-four. It’s hard to believe that she’s gone twelve years now. We used to talk every day, especially after the grandkids were born. She was an advice giver, whether wanted or needed or not. But still, taken in stride. For the most part, she stayed away from “helping” us name our second son, but was secretly pleased that we chose to name him after my father. She would like that my baby girl is named for her. I remembered her mentioning that she liked the name when we were deciding. 

Kind and generous and I learned that from her. Inherited. As well has how to make a good roast beef and pot roast, and of course, her lasagna, what most poeple would call baked ziti. Still awesome, though. Sunday bagels, too much mayo in my tuna fish, and overplanning on the little things and under planning on the big ones. 

Learning as much as teaching. But always trying to do the best, and moving forward. Being mom and remembering moms.