La Verne Magazine
From the Editor...
by Jaclyn Roco
The scent of lemon-herbed chicken sizzling on the stove, the sound of
laughter wafting in the kitchen, a laden dining table groaning under the
weight of countless dishes, and a smiling, bright-eyed woman who managed
to make a complete life possible.
Some memories last only briefly, but I can still hear the soft beckoning
of my mother to eat all that was on my plate. I remember how much I tried,
but my little stomach at the time could only handle only so much. I ended
up throwing away some little bits of the food into the trash can when she
was not looking.
How was I to know how smart my mother was? I should have known better
than to underestimate her. She knew what I was going to do and had placed
a clean plastic lining on the trash. When I told her I was finished with
my meal, she promptly took hold of my little fist and forced me to scoop
everything back onto my plate. I never wasted food after that.
There were other lessons she taught me each lesson very valuable
in shaping me to become the person I am today. It was more than just the
birds and the bees; she taught me about life, how life was never to be wasted-
just like the food I had attempted to throw away.
When you throw the little things away, you throw away your life. This
was something I learned early on.
I used to take my mother for granted, and now I realize how little I
used to consider her to be in the context of my life. She was a strong presence,
but at the same time she was the one who forced me to do things I did not
want to do; she was the one who served me because I was her daughter, and
she was only my mother.
And now, after it is far too late, I see where the mistakes are, especially
on my part. Because I was her daughter, I should have served her. Because
I was a part of her, I should have known that she knew me inside and out
because we were really the same in mind and in body.
Like I says before, it is the little things in life that count the most.
And although I used to think my mother
mattered little in my previous vain existence, she was really everything
to me. I did not learn to appreciate her at the time I had her. Now I realize
she was much more than someone who was in my life; she was my life.
Now, when I see the empty plate of food before me, I see the kind of
life I have left to live. The empty plate signifies that my mother is no
longer around to fulfill me. This fulfillment I am talking about, however,
is past the sustenance that mere food can provide. Now all I have are the
leftovers of something that once was, and can never be again-memories.
What was once a bright and cheery kitchen, now seems a sterile shadow
devoid of warmth and light. It is rather ironic that light, sunlight that
is, should be the factor that makes life possible to begin with. My light
beamed from the rays of my mother's smile. It was her light that created
me; it was her life that she gave to me once she whispered her last goodbye.
And now that I know that I am she, and she is I, I will continue to
share her memory with what remains of my family. For it is the little things
that matter in life.