Her name was Beatriz.
Today is Mother’s Day in Mexico and will be this Sunday in the United States. It’s been over a year since she died. She did what mothers are supposed to do, taking care of their children. Who was she? I’ll tell who she was not. She wasn’t irresponsible or yet worse, overwhelming or toxic. I was fortunate to have a mother who let us grow up as individuals who make their own decisions. She never tried, ever, to influence who to befriend, who to marry, what to do for a living. We are who we are because we had the freedom to be ourselves, she let us, and for that I will always be grateful. My mother, the woman who cooked wonderful meals for my friends in my early years, the one who took us to Sunday mass I never listened to, the one who attended The Thurdays, a friend's group, the one who made us cloth after she took sewing classes, the one who took cooking classes and brought home new and exciting food, the one who removed lice from our heads and crushed with her fingernails, a sweet sound of revenge, the one who played her fingers in our hair to calm us down, the one who took us spontaneously to getaways on weekends, the one who always kept a small radio in the kitchen to listen to music, the one who sang romantic and happy songs loudly when she was in a good mood.
We nurtured our mother-daughter relationship through good and bad moments. I remember she had to present a cake for an exhibit at the end of the baking classes but the cake burned. Out of time to bake another one, she decorated the burnt cake beautifully. Everyone wanted to buy her cake. Mom and I laugh in complicity for hours lying to people and telling them it was sold already.