Written by: Khadeja
I had a dream last night that you came to visit me. I was overjoyed to have a chance to sit with you and pour my heart out to you, to tell you things that I couldn’t share with Dad, because he wouldn’t understand and would just end up worrying about me. I wanted to do all the things we used to do together all at once. I wanted us to go to a coffee shop so you can order your usual coffee (two creams, no sugar) and raisin bran muffin. I wanted to go shopping with you just like when I was younger and I would drag you to stores with me while I tried on multiple outfits and dresses–your face would light up at the sight of your little girl getting all dolled up.
My self-confidence stemmed from you, Mama, and it has taken lots of hard work to regain it after I lost you. I miss your compliments and encouragement. I miss being able to pick up the phone and call you and fill you in on my life. I know you would be so proud that I am finally back on track with my career.
I was cooking last night and tried to imagine what it would be like if you were still in this life–would I be calling you to tell you what I am making for iftar? Would I be checking whether or not I’m making the dish correctly? Probably–but then again, maybe not. You raised me to be self-reliant, and that is what I am. I still look back to the recipe notes you made for me when I went away for college. It’s my way of keeping you close while I try to emulate your amazing cooking skills. The compliments I get about my dishes are really a compliment for you, Mama. I remember the days when being in the kitchen with you felt like such a chore because I was not interested in chopping parsley. But now I wish that I could relive those days, if only for a moment. It was almost like you were preparing me for a life without you.
I miss you, Mama, but I know that you are in a better place now. You have left us, but I will do my best to honor you during my life by being the woman you raised me to be.