Gently pushing the spoon down along the inside of the white porcelain mug, I scoop a small pile of warm beans. Quietly enjoying a simple lunch on the couch, I suddenly feel myself transported back to my mother’s kitchen. Bean with Bacon soup. Campbell’s. Out of the can. I remember.
Funny how some foods can bring us back to times gone by. As I place the warm, white pinto beans into my mouth – no, I am not actually eating Bean with Bacon soup – I suddenly taste the comfort, the warmth, the love my mom used to infuse into all of our lives.
This will be the third holiday season we have lived without my mom. And like many of us who have suffered great loss in our lives, I feel the hole especially strongly around this time of year. It’s a chasm, really. There will be no plans made to pick her up at the airport. No home-made Christmas clothing arriving for my little girls. No puzzles or singing with Tutu (as she liked to be called). No, this year – like the last two – we will celebrate without her thoughtful presents, nor her beautiful presence.
But the Bean with Bacon soup helps. Well, the memory of it, anyway. Somehow it helps to remember that she was here, I think. Setting the spoon down, I look around my living room. A picture of her with the girls rests in a black frame on the book shelf. On the piano, a photo with her and Lexi sits behind the music rack. On the floor, some toys she sent years ago lay scattered beneath the coffee table. And thanks to the small porcelain bowl in front of me, the memory of my mom has come flooding back. So I smile.
Because of Bean with Bacon soup.