Oct 7, 2012

letter to my son

For my son, for when he wants to ask and I am not there to answer.

I know when you become a parent, if you choose to become one, you will remember me more and more as you establish in your new role as a dad. You will see me in you. You might sometimes like it and some other times I know you will say "fuck! it's scary how I am acting like her". Do not feel bad for saying that. I have said that and I can reassure you most people have experienced that scary moment of -oh my god I am acting like her- moment.

I try to imagine what you may remember from me, to see the picture of me in your head years from now... you will remember a woman who was always rushing through life, who always told you "come one baby, fast! mommy is late for work." The woman who hugged you and kissed you when she tucked you in and told you stories of her birth country, who said gratitude to mother nature with you in bed every night and didnt miss a chance to tell you about other ways of life in other places on earth. You will remember a woman who was tired a lot, who was not there for your karate lessons, for your violin class, for your swimming. Or maybe not, maybe these pictures come from my feelings of guilt and utter sadness for not being there for and with you more. Maybe the picture is a woman who sings silly songs with you in the kitchen as she is cooking and trying to show you how to make homemade yogurt. Maybe you remember a loud woman who ran after you in the backyard pretending she is a tickle monster. Maybe you remember a woman who took you to community events trying to teach you about community and nature and caring and sharing and such.

 The picture might be a woman who dances with the Wiggles and fusses over the amount of sweets you have had in one day, who is over protective and always worried that something bad can happen to you because so many bad things have happened in her that she has a hard time trusting this world can be any other way.

The picture in your head can be the woman who took you to the farmers market every other Saturday while holding your hand tight and gave you a loonie to give to the busker who plays Bob Marley, or it can be the woman who ran after you to "kiss attack" you and you were always faster than her.

I dont know what the picture might be my love, I dont know. But there is one thing I want you to know. This picture is only a part of your mom. The part that you could see, feel and remember. Change what you dont like about it and dont be that. Cherish what you like about it and do it with your own children and in your own life. And do not ever doubt one thing. maybe the picture is not all what you wanted it to be be but this woman, a flawed human being just like any other human being, loves you more than anything in this world, she lives in the sweet smell of your body, in the laughter in your eyes and in the warmth of your hands when she holds them at night watching you in your sleep.
That this woman is thankful, very very thankful, blessed and happy to have you in her life and in her heart. 

Mar 31, 2012

I hate you global warming

There ought to be a name for an aching soul. I mean we have head ache and sore throat and body ache and sore muscle but can you imagine the look on one's face when one asks you "how are you?" and you say "I am well, just a little soul ache."

My soul aches these days. In all the years I have been in this country it is the first spring that weather is just like the weather we had in spring time in my home country. In the mornings I wake up and I feel I am in my old room, I close my eyes and I hear my mom, my dad, I hear my brothers, through the big french windows I see the trees in the garden and my heart is happy, happy, happy and at home. And then I wake up. The weather takes my soul away to old memories of home, my body is confused, my body wants to stay in bed with eyes closed and listen to the voice of my mom, my dad, my brothers. My body wants to fly with my soul. But I know very well that for what seems to be a long time now, I can't go back to revisit the memories, to smell the smells, to see my old room, my friends, the street, the markets, my dad's and brother's graves.
So my friends, if you see a woman driving as if she is drunk, be kind to her. She is not drunk. She has something that there is no medical term for it. Her soul aches.

Spring is also when he died. I look at his pictures. His young handsome smiley face. It has been three years. three year? Three years of not having heard him? Three years of not having talked to him? Three years of not having received a post card, a letter from him?

And I survived. Who would think I could?

I think it was after his death that I gave up. I gave up fighting to change the world. I gave up hoping for peace and justice. Now that I look back it was after his death that I realized life is not a fucking dress rehearsal and I need to love, love, love, and enjoy it with my loved ones. It was after he was gone that I learned there is no "fair and just" in the world.

I feel something big, as big as a walnut is sitting in my throat and is choking me.
I just hope next spring begins as cold and snowy as previous years. It is easier on the soul.

Jan 23, 2012

oh this thing... oh called soup

I have been sick with the flu for the past 4-5 days. It was the flu and now I think it is gone to my stomach. I am fine as long as I dont eat. Anyway, today I walked into my office to be greeted by 26 voice messages after being off sick for two days. I had the chills and the fever and my stomach was feeling funny. So my supervisor came to the rescue and kindly gave me a Tylenol. Well, I had to eat something before I could take the Tylenol and just like most days I had left my lunch bag on the kitchen floor in the crazy morning rush. I cant usually eat out even on a good day let alone a stomach bug-ish day so I walked to the big grocery store right by the agency to by myself a soup. I was calculating in my very tired head. I gave myself 20 minutes to buy it, prepare it and eat it. That's it. I couldn't afford to give it more time.

At the grocery store, I ask one of staff where the soups are. She shows me the aisle. I hesitate to ask her my next question but I do. Which one can I make fast at work? She looks at me as if I have just landed from Mars. well, I landed from Mars 10 years ago. I explain: I have never tried any of these before. How on earth did that happen? she asks in a surprised tone. "Yes, heehee, well I try to  to make soups at home" I say rather embarrassed. She says wow this is awesome and reassures me that I will like the taste of instant chicken noodle soup.
5 minutes later my chicken noodle soup is in the microwave. I read the instruction carefully: a cup of warm water, 1-2 minutes in the microwave and voila! your soup is ready! no chopping, grating, stirring, having to let it simmer for half hour, no over night soaking the beans in warm water so they cook easily the following day.
It is yellow with some green things floating in it, some noodles and tons of sodium. And here comes the confession: I was excited to try a ready made soup for the first time! So I am eating the yellow thing AKA chicken noodle soup feeling both excited for finally breaking this mental barrier against pre made soups and at the same time a little grossed out thinking about what I am sending down to my already weak stomach.
I tell my friend who is sitting across from me at the kitchen table about my first encounter with canned soup.
we had newly arrived in Canada and were exploring the grocery store. As I was walking the aisles, I saw tens and tens of colourful cans. I looked at them curiously to find out they were soups. At first I thought one buys them, adds things to them and makes one's own soup, thinking of them of the base for the soup but when I read the labels they clearly said pour the whole thing in a bowl, warm it up and eat it. I was horrified. I called my mom to share this bizarre North American phenomenon called canned soup with her. Hey mom they have canned soup here. yeah, its all cooked and ready you just need to warm it up. Of course my mom screamed on the phone (as I expected) DO NOT DARE EVER buy any of this garbage and she went on and on about how they are filled with additive and preservative and the thing they use to attach the lid to the can is cancerous and can cause this and that and that I will die a painful death at a young age if I give in to this lazy North American life style and do I want her to make me some soup and freeze it and have N who is flying back to Canada in a week bring the containers for me because home made frozen is at least better than canned. I had to reassure her for half hour on the phone that I was NOT going to buy those shameful soups and that I was not going to give in to North American life style and that I would continue to make home made soups all from scratch.
Ten years later I was eating/drinking the salty yellow watery thing so I can have my flu tablet and I was thinking with all that is going on in my birth country my mom probably couldnt care less if I told her hey mom I had a canned soup today! or maybe not? Moms are not predictable.

I came home and googled canned soup to find this. I should call my mom tomorrow! but I am not going to tell her that I have 3 more in my drawer: A spicy chicken soup, tomato soup and another chicken noodle!