My mother’s memory is very poor.But making dumplings is something she can do intuitively
This first-person article is the experience of Tarn Tayanuth, a Thai-born chef who lives in Victoria and takes care of her mother.For more information about CBC’s first-person story, see common problem.
I am the only Asian child, this has my own baggage.
But I am also a queer woman in the restaurant industry, and I am supporting a mother with Alzheimer’s disease.right now That is Baggage.
The word obligation is not entirely correct, because, of course, I love my mother-but in our culture, family responsibilities are very much emphasized.
The reality is that caring for parents with Alzheimer’s disease may feel isolated and overwhelmed. Diseases that affect thinking, especially memory, can make you feel powerless to help your loved one in an incredible way.
I can’t see it, but I know that my mother’s heart is slowly getting worse. The hardest part is, and maybe still is, whenever I feel depressed about her forgetting, guilt hangs over me.
Worried that there is only a fine line between my safety and well-being plum I am frustrated with the lack of control because I cannot reverse or change my mother’s condition.
But I can make dumplings. It turns out that my mother can still do it—this is the best gift I can get.
When my mother married my stepfather from Victoria 25 years ago, we moved to Canada. I was only 14 years old. I am deeply grateful for the efforts my mother has put in to bring us here, and I feel that I have been given this huge opportunity and responsibility, and I can make a difference from it.
To some extent, this debt guides me; it sounds like a negative emotion, but I have learned the importance of gratitude in life and good professional ethics. My mother and I have worked in the catering industry for more than 20 years. Her first job in Victoria was in a local Thai restaurant, where I myself have been working for 16 years.
As Asian immigrants, we all face difficulties-racism and language barriers-these painful experiences are hard to forget, but we regard this as our home.
Food is the bridge. The Thai food and Thai community in Victoria connect our hometown with our newly chosen home.
When my mother started to have trouble remembering orders, she was working as a waiter in the same Thai restaurant. The diagnosis was made in 2016. This is Alzheimer’s disease, and the age is abnormally young.
She can no longer work, and the sense of debt I mentioned earlier tells me that I must take care of her.
When her neurologist told us that fine motor activity can suppress symptoms, I remembered how we used to make dumplings with all the neighbors and aunts in Thailand. So my mother and I started to do this.
She will forget why we roll so many pork and leek dumplings, but she will wrap each dumpling with her hands with intuitive confidence and muscle memory. I know it’s worth it.
She would make fun of me: “You shouldn’t eat so many dumplings, you will be fat.”
In the end, the number of dumplings got out of control. Friends started to encourage me to sell the excess, and then I opened a dumpling shop in Victoria, all to support my mother.
It has been five years since she was diagnosed, and my mother still came in and made dumplings with me at Dumpling Drop. We made dumplings with her “??beautiful angel”-this is what she calls her employees.
Dumpling Drop provides me and my family with the gift of spending time with my mother, which is really important for us now. It shows the healing power of food.