I dreamed about my mother.
Dreams are boring. Skip to the strawberry shortcake if you like.
Here is the dream. There was a feast. It was not a crowd you want to join. People were laughing cruelly. I glimpsed my mother trying to belong. She could not. And then I glimpsed her from afar: she left the room, crying. A woman smirked and barred my way: “She deserves it.” I knew it was a dream, and I was determined to control it. I hurried past the vicious guard (or whatever she was) and followed my mother into the restroom. I WOULD save her. I saw feet under a stall, then they disappeared. Was that she? I opened the door. There she was, crying but alive.
She died two years ago. I suppose that’s why I dreamed.
And perhaps it reflected the last years of her life.
At the assisted living facility where she lived for a few months before we discovered she could not survive there (she fell and broke her hip and was not found till morning), nobody spoke a word at her table in the dining room. They rushed away as soon as they were done. “Where do they have to go? Why hurry?” she asked. (It was the same later at the nursing home.) She knew some of the people at the ALF from “real life.” One was a cheerleader type, a woman who played bridge with my mother, but otherwise ignored her. So, so like school.
All, all are dead now.
Mother had a comfortable life until she got sick in very old age.
I am grateful for all she did for us. She raised us in domestic comfort and air conditioning. I think of her driving us to the library in the heat, taking us to movies. I saw ALL the movies.
My snobbishly-brought-up husband was an Eagle Scout, wants the windows open both in winter and summer, and wants the air conditioner off even when it’s 90 degrees.
I insist on comfort. There is no more giving in to the camper/bicyclist/hiker on issues of extreme heat (91 degrees today; heat index, 104). The AC goes on!
Without Mom would I feel I have to endure?
She was more domestic than I, but I also like her philosophy of cooking. For years I cooked complicated vegetarian dishes. This summer it is just too hot. My mother took us to restaurants, or cooked easy, fast meals. No slaving in the kitchen for her. What was frozen Stouffer’s tuna casserole for if not to save time?
MY MOTHER’S STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE
Sponge dessert cups (usually sold in the same section as the strawberries)
Reddi-wip or whipped cream equivalent.
Slice the strawberries and put them in a bowl. Add sugar. Recipes often call for three tablespoons per four cups, but you can add more sugar if you like it sweeter. Let the strawberries sit for at least half an hour.
Top the dessert cups with strawberries and as much whipped cream as you like. It’s delicious!
P.S. I suppose you could buy an angel food cake and do the same thing with the strawberries!