Her earliest memory was of her mother cooking. Lisa couldn’t have been much older than four or five years old, sitting on the kitchen island, kicking her little feet against the cabinets while her mother moved around the pots and pans and cutting boards with a grace that Lisa never saw anywhere else. Her mother would teach her even though Lisa’s toddler mind couldn’t even begin to process the intricate details of a sophisticated pallet while cooking.
But Lisa remembered feeling safe and warm and happy. She remembered eating little scraps of food that her mother offered her during the process. She remembered laughing at the look on her father’s face as he complained that Lisa got pieces while he got hit with the spoon if he tried to take a bite. Her mom would tease, “Well, clearly, I just love her more,” and then kiss him so long that Lisa would make grossed out sounds from the counter and inform both her parents that kissing was gross.
She remembered being unconditionally happy, and unconditionally loved. She held onto that memory as tightly as she could, even when life got rough after that. She couldn’t help but believe that if it had happened once, she could make it happen again. Somehow. Someday.