One year ago today, October 14, 2012, my mom Grace passed away.
I remember as if it were yesterday. That Sunday I had just finished doing some election work for the San Diego County Democratic Party and came home to eat dinner. At about 7:30PM Pacific time we received a phone call from Sharp Coronado Hospital where she had been the last month of her life. We were told that her breathing had stopped at we should go down as fast as possible as we had maybe an hour so left. I called my aunt in Solana Beach, my grandfather in Chula Vista, and my brother and we each drove as quickly as possible. By the time we reached the hospital she was passing and by 9PM she was pronounced officially dead. I called my aunt in Palo Alto and my grandaunt in Alameda and started to cry.
We had pulled the plug about 10 days before hand, though I didn’t cry then. However a year ago I cried again and again. I had known this day would come for about a month and a half, yet nothing still ever prepares you for it.
Within time, of course, things got better and memories started getting fonder. I gave a eulogy at the funeral, particularly remembering my mom’s passion for people and passion for food – things she has instilled in me to this day. Of course, it’s with these same memories that I am writing this blog, even if it’s only a couple dozen of my friends who read it from time to time.
So I suppose it’s either ironic or appropriate that one of the few Chinese restaurants I wanted to go to today to celebrate her life and get a taste of home was closed, because it is a Monday. Just like a year ago, my opportunity to physically see, smell, and taste the wonderful food she cooked was eliminated.
It will be okay though. As one life chapter closes, another life chapter begins. Even if I can’t enjoy another meal of Dim Sum with her, I can eat Dim Sum in her memory, surrounded by the boundless friends and family I have still living. I am surrounded by so much warmth and courage of those around me who have supported me and given me strength over this year. I am surrounded by her spirit, which will continue to guide me to good food across the country, and around the world.
So today I am not only remembering her passing, but celebrating her life….and lifting a mug of Chrysanthemum Tea to her.