Petroglyph. Fremantle, Western Australia 2009

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Sandra Adams 2009 Kimberley sandstone

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Day of the Dead Ancestor Feast October 31, 2009

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Day of the Dead Ancestor Feast October 31, 2010

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21,095 day Feast August 11, 2011  

Today I am 21, 095 days old - the same age my mother was when she died. The milestone feels monumental. From this day on I will be older than my mother ever got to be and to honor the transition I made a special ancestor feast: Mom's spaghetti. It was our special 'girls night meal'. Dad wasn't a fan of spaghetti, but Suzi, Mom and I all loved it so the meal was a special treat saved for when Dad was away on business.

When I think of the best times shared by the three of us, the picture that comes to my mind is of us sitting together in the kitchen, eating Mom's spaghetti and talking with an unusually relaxed and easy camaraderie. These are some of my fondest memories - times when I felt a deep and unshakable sense of belonging. When Mom died, Suzi asked me if there was anything special of Mom's that I wanted and all I could think of was the old, beat up aluminium colander she used to drain the shaghetti. In my mind's eye I can still see her standing over the sink, steam rising while she drained the big spot of spaghetti into that colander.

For our feast, I made made the sauce according to Mom's recipe. As with many New England versions of 'foreign' foods, it is very plain and and simple. I portioned out the first serving for Mom and added some other of her favorites: Kavli and Jarlesberg, macadamias and coffee with milk. And I thought of Suzi - including her in spirit in the event - even though she is so far away in North Carolina. Then I took a bite. It was exactly as I remembered. It tasted like home.