I don’t get to spend as much time with my Mom as we’d both like. We both work and I have my own family that I tend to, with sports & after school activities, etc. Some days, I’m so exhausted from a thought-provoking workweek, all I want to do is relax and do nothing at all.
This past Saturday, I had a few hours to spend with my Mom. I called her the morning of and asked her if she was doing anything. She had plans, but was willing to push her plans out to spend time with me. So, I picked her up and brought her to the Columbus Food Truck Festival.
I told her to wear something comfortable because we were going to be doing a lot of walking. So, she wore the usual red sarong, a shirt and a light jacket. I told her she may not need the light jacket, but she insisted. Who am I to argue with Mom? When I was a lot younger, I would’ve been embarrassed to be seen with her because of the way she dressed. As I grew older, I didn’t care; I just wanted to make sure she was comfortable. And she was.
We explored the different food trucks and walked along Downtown Columbus. Enjoyed the cool breeze by the river and the wonderful sounds of live music and people trying to decide what food truck to try.
I asked her what she wanted. She gave me the usual response, “It’s up to you, anything you want”. I finally got that her favorite American food is, Fried Chicken and Cole Slaw. So, Hot Chicken Takeover it is! Unfortunately, the truck only had mini chicken bits and no Cole slaw. But, we ordered some chicken anyways; by this time, we were both starving!
We found a bench with some shade along the Main Street Bridge. My Mom started talking about how my Dad would’ve loved seeing how Columbus has grown. The beautiful Scioto River Trail, the diverse people, the wonderful foods, and events. I really wished he was here to see all the progress we’ve made too.
She enjoys coming downtown to these events. If you ever have an opportunity to meet her, she always refers to me as her “baby”, not Bo. She waves, smiles and says, “Hi” to everyone who passes by. She loves giving out hugs and “Cambodian kisses” to kids. She just loves people.
We got some more food and sat in the grass by the main stage to listen to some jazz music. We found some shade under a tree and watched the band perform for about an hour and then started to head back. We were both full so weren’t interested in getting anything else.
We were 3/4 of a mile away from the Parking garage, so we took a break along Civic Center Drive and sat on one of the swing benches. She brought up Dad again and wished she could walk with him along the river. “He would’ve loved walking over here”, she says. “It’s beautiful now”.
This moment made me realize that nothing is permanent. Our lives are filled with “busy” and countless moments that we may or may not remember. Good and bad. My Mom lost everything back in Cambodia and then lost the love of her life over a decade ago. To her, she’s lost everything. So, when I hear her tell stories about her “baby”, I just let her chatter away. That’s how she shares her story; her progress.
It’s about making progress. Not holding on to the past, but not forgetting about it either. If you think about it, we all just want to be loved, respected and remembered. Everything in this life is only temporary after all.