If I have to choose what I miss most about my mom, it is the time we spent together in our little room having breakfast in the winter. We include my mom, my grandmother, my grandfather, my little sister and me. To borrow a modern term, our room is like a studio apartment. At winter, our little room is both a kitchen and a bedroom for my grandparents, me and my little sister. My mom stays in her school dormitory.
I miss listening to her and my grandma sharing their dreams, literal dreams of previous night, each laughing at their own interpretation, over steams from cookware above the stove, over the crackling of firewood. I adire their knowledge about their gods and their superstition.
I miss her patience with my grandma who has difficulty hearing, and I enjoy the hilarious exchanges between them because of hearing difficulties.
Occasionally, we have visitors in our little room during breakfast time. A visitor might be a mom asking my mom to read a letter or dictate a letter for my mom to write because the guest could not read or write; a visitor might be a parent of my mom's former student, needing some sort of advice. She is always willing and capable, always warm to the guests.
The best compliment to her is from my friends dare me to find someone who is as good as my mom to my grandma. I never heard a single complaint from her about my grandma or grandpa, or my uncle or aunt.
On the day when she left us in November 2009, it snowed so heavy that our village elders could not resist but attribute it to her departure.
Our room is small and dark in winter, but it is the warmest place on earth, especially during breakfast time.
I miss you, mom, and grandma.