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I am constantly amazed at how animated and talkative people get when you mention food. The mere aroma of certain foods can evoke memories that transport us back to a special place and time. Food can bridge the gap between all ages, races and ethnicities.
Let's face it, the only thing that should ever come between people is a table and some serving bowls.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Twenty-one Years Later.....

My Mother and I

My mother never thought that she would live past the age of 49 which was the age her mother was when she passed away. My grandmother Lena had non smoking related emphysema; she was born with very weak lungs. My mother was only 11 years old when she watched her mother struggle for her last breath, a tragic experience for anyone much less an eleven year old child.
My mother started smoking at the age of 16 and by the age of 30 she smoked between 2 and 3 packs a day. During these years the fear of dying at 49 had subsided somewhat, at least until the time she started to feel poorly and was diagnosed with emphysema, she was 45 at the time. It was at that moment her past fear returned and she was certain that fate had stepped in and that she was down to 4 remaining years. Her fear was so great that it infected me with the same feeling of impending doom. The next few years her health remained stable, her birthdays came and went without incident as we nervously awaited the infamous birthday number 49…..it was almost as if birthday number 48 was a cliffhanger like the ones on TV. You’re nervously waiting to see what will happen next but you have to wait until the next season to find out. It was a very long year and each day in September seemed never ending. September 29th came, birthday number 49 we celebrated in our usual family way. My mother went to bed that evening and awoke to a sunny day on the 30th exhaling the fear that had shadowed her life for so long.
It is now 21 years later and we just celebrated her 70th birthday. In those 21 years she has battled emphysema, breast cancer, lung cancer, an enlarged heart, spinal arthritis and a few other ailments here and there. Through all that her mind is relatively sharp, her spirits good and her ability to laugh and enjoy life very much in tact.
We had a picnic lunch for her in the cafeteria of the nursing home; we had grilled white and red hot dogs, bratwurst, celery fritters, assorted salads and a chocolate cake. It truly was a day to celebrate, my mother had such a good time……..Happy Birthday Mom.

Celery Fritters

8 celery stalks
1 cup of flour
2 beaten eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp. of oregano
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup of oil

Wash and chop celery into 2 inch pieces. Mix flour, eggs, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic, water and cheese and mix well. It will have the consistency of pancake batter.
Heat oil in skillet or deep fryer (use more oil). When hot, dip celery in batter and carefully drop into hot oil and fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve hot.

17 comments:

Little Ol' Liz said...

I'm a sucker for a happy story. Best wishes for Mom and many more years ahead.

Julie said...

Thank you so much for your kind wishes, Liz.

joe@italyville.com said...

A Happy birthday to your mom! and a great story.

Julie said...

Thank you so much, Joe

Patricia Scarpin said...

She's a fighter, Julie. Please, send her my best.

nicisme said...

Happy Birthday to your mom, and many more too!

Rochelle R. said...

Happy belated birthday to your Mom. She sure has been through a lot, facing all those difficulties.
The celery fritters sound very different but good, I have never heard of them before.

Judy said...

Hi Julie, what a wonderful story. I'm so glad you shared.

Julie said...

Thank you, Nic

Julie said...

Thank you, Patricia I will

Julie said...

You are very welcome, Judy

Julie said...

Thank you so much, Rochelle

Mimi from French Kitchen said...

Lovely post and photo, Julie.

Best wishes to your mother!

Julie said...

Thank you so much, Mimi

QVC said...

i am sucker for it

Nikki said...

Yes, yes. Happy birthday, mom! I'm so glad you got to spend the day with her and enjoy her company. My mom's dad died when she was 21 and she was convinced the same would happen to her. She tried her best to bring me up in the way that I should go before that time. Well, I'm just a hair past 25, but my mom is still kicking and ticking.

Julie said...

Thank you, Nikki