A Year Without My Mom: Gemma Dolores Aguayo, is a difficult post to share, but this blog has always been a way to honor my parents and I want to continue to tell her story, to share how remarkable she was, and keep her memory alive.
A Year Without My Mom: Gemma Dolores Aguayo
It has been a year since I lost my mom to cancer. A year since the last time I saw her beautiful face, touched her soft hands, and kissed her gentle cheeks.
I haven't said anything about it here. It made me feel that if I didn't reveal these news then maybe it really wasn't real. I mean, friends, family, people close they know about it, of course they do.
But, in this world of Everyday Latina that I created, a blog that I dedicated to my mom and my dad, a place where I share my upbringing, my mom's stories, her recipes, the impact she had on my life. . .it just felt as though I could keep her alive a little bit longer if I didn't say anything.
Lately though, I have started to realize that I want to continue to tell her story. I began this blog to document and celebrate my culture, my family, everything that my mom and my dad taught me about food, about tradition, about my heritage. And, as hard as it is to stomach and to accept, my mom's fight against cancer and her death are a part of her story.
In the last year it has become increasingly difficult for me to write new blog posts and share her recipes. I haven't known how to address the fact that she is no longer here. It has been heartbreaking to know that I no longer have her to call and ask about the background of a recipe, or how she learned how to make it, or simply something special about it.
Now I have to rely on my own memories, or her old notebooks in which she so carefully handwrote her recipes in. I also turn to the people who loved her, my dad, my sister, my brother, my aunt, my uncle, my cousins, to regale me with anecdotes about my mom that they keep in their hearts.
I reveal these news today, this part of my life that I still can't understand with a hope that I can continue keeping her memory alive. That anyone who reads my blog will know what a truly remarkable person my mom was. That you will find comfort and joy in her recipes, and be able to feel how much I loved her.
In this year without my mom, I have realized I want to continue to make her proud, to honor her, and celebrate her. And I hope that one day, this will also serve as a record for my own kids. That through my writing, my three children will remember their "Ababu" and cherish the memories, the stories, the recipes, and the legacy that she left us.
Check out the following posts for some of the recipes that I learned from my mom. In the introduction to these posts you will also find some of the stories behind these recipes that feature my mom.