Saturday, January 14, 2006

breakfast at jellyhead's

It's Saturday morning and I'm eating a mango, all to myself. Luxury indeed!

It's funny how certain foods can bring back memories. For instance mangoes remind me of when my mother left my father.

One day my mother came and asked me to pack clothes for my two younger siblings, because she was leaving Dad. I felt shocked but secretly a bit excited (it sounds shameful, I know, but this is the honest truth). I had always fantasised about how peaceful my life would be if we children lived with just Mum. Dad arrived just as we were leaving. He pleaded with Mum not to leave. He sat in an armchair looking dazed and forlorn as we kissed him goodbye. Although I know he was not an innocent player, it still brings me to tears just writing about that moment.

We drove towards the city in the Corolla. I sat in the back with my little brother and sister. Mum played the Paul Simon CD 'Graceland'. I kept thinking of Dad, and the utter desolation in his eyes. But I also felt as if my life was going to be lighter, easier, sometime soon.

Shortly after we got to the city, I went to stay with an older, widowed family friend, Mrs B, because I had upcoming exams for which I was supposed to be studying. Mum and Dad would each phone me, and I would counsel them in my own, teenage and inept manner. I lost my appetite almost completely. I went from skinny to quite underweight.

Mrs B, bless her, took me under her wing and coaxed me to eat a little every meal. And every morning she gave me mango, fresh from her tree, sliced up in a little pink bowl.

You would think that eating mango might make me feel sad, or heavy-hearted, but it does not. Mango reminds me of the incredible kindness of a lady I knew only a little before my parents' separation, but who treated me as if I was a treasured daughter. She is now a dear friend of mine. And now each of my parents are happy in their new lives, with new loves.

And when I want to spoil myself with something healthy, I buy a large, juicy, sweet mango.


Heather said...

I'm hungry for a mango now.

This was a very touching post, Jelly.

TUFFENUF said...

No matter what YOU think, the readers think that you DO have the skill to be a writer.

susan said...

You are getting to be quite the storyteller, I believe blogging agrees with you. Thanks for sharing a very personal time in your life. And thanks for your sweet words on my blog! BTW I am just 51! Enjoy your mangoes, have some for me.

Motherkitty said...

Thank you for such a personal reveal of a tumultuous time of your life. I'm sure it was difficult for you for quite a while dealing with separation and divorce. I commend you for overcoming that trauma to become the nice, warm, and wonderful person (and good wife, mother, and daughter) that you are today. It's wonderful that you appreciate and maintain the love and friendship of good Mrs. B.

Flossy said...

Your story was both sad and lovely, thank you for sharing.

I love mangoes, but my daughter usually snaffles them before anyone else gets the chance!

manababies said...

Mangoes are my favorite fruit. I can only imagine what they'd taste like freshly picked. But as a child you must have been incredibly mature, for something this sad ended up being positive instead.

shellyC said...

Thanks for sharing your story.

Ahhh favourite!! I was only thinking the other day as I sneaked a whole mango for long it had been since I had enjoyed one!! My kids adore them too. So with one child I would get a cheek and maybe the stone...with two children I only got the stone....with three children...i might get to lick the skin!!! And being down South....they are a bit of a luxury!!

Alice said...

Lovely ending to an otherwise sad story. What compassion Mrs B. showed to a lonely child. I'm sure she is more than pleased to see the woman you have become and cherish your friendship.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Your story touched my heart and you told it so well. Thanks for sharing your innermost thoughts.
It's good that it all turned out so well.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing something so real with us.