I can’t eat it without thinking of my mother who liked it covered in sweetened condensed milk. I thought everyone ate it this way. My mother could take anything and make it better. Now I only eat it when I’m not feeling well, which isn’t often. Chicken noodle Cup-a-Soup from Lipton, fruit punch flavored Gatorade, and JELL-O—a perfect combination for getting back on my feet when faced with a cold. Other meals I associate with my mother include chicken and rice, rice and beans (served with a dollop of sour cream), and rice pudding. Growing up, chicken was the inexpensive option. I used to love going to my friends’ houses where they served pork chops, steak and mashed potatoes, and various fried foods. Now I long for my mother’s cooking.

I used to blame her for not teaching me to cook until I later found out I had refused to learn. How easily we forget our role in our past and are quick to judge and blame others, especially our parents. Some believe we pick our parents before our birth—carefully selecting the best combination of souls who can lovingly deliver our wounds.

What kind of sick, masochistic person would do such a thing? Why not? Did we come in search of bliss? If so, why come to Earth? What will each of us do with our wounds? Scream-cry-blame? Scream-cry-hate? Scream-cry-shrink? Scream-cry-explode? Scream-cry-heal? Scream-cry-laugh? Thank goodness for JELL-O!