Standing over the stove, you can tell she’s in her element. The woman can cook.
She may not be able to recite the recipe exactly, and may have to tell you in three separate phone calls the revisions to the recipe, but cooking is her love language. That and waking up at 5am to make sure your pants were hemmed when you needed them.
Service has always been the way she supported.
You see her there, dicing the onions, and her hands look tired and worn. She’s done the work of a hundred men in her time, I’m sure of it. Never met another woman who could do what she’s done; raising five kids, keeping a 6000 square foot house and owning a clothing business. That’s nothing to thumb your nose at.
Sometimes it feels like she’s a million miles away and she probably is; her story is a beautiful and a broken one. Filled with so much loss and leaving, when you hear about it, it makes your heart feel a physical pain. Most folks don’t know what to do with that pain.
They’re not sure what to tell a woman who started out in this country already misplaced. A refugee from Budapest, her family was supposed to head to Washington D.C. Instead, the government sent them to Washington State. Her stories of feeling “wrong” from the start, with her accent and pierced ears, always did make me think differently about my peers who felt like they were on the “outside.”