Mrs. Barashi’s Pots

Mrs. Barashi’s Pots

When we moved into our new home 5 years ago, we shared a wall with the Barashis, an elderly Kurdish couple who lived in the house next to our own. Unfortunately, the wife passed away soon after we moved in and the husband died a year ago. For the past year, the house has lain empty, the sons taking turns to come in once a week to wash the floors nobody stepped on all week.
Recently, the family’s 4 adult children decided it is finally time to take the difficult step of emptying out their childhood home in order to rent it out.
Over the last year or so, we’ve become friendly with one of the Barashis’ sons whom we’ve adopted as our family’s taxi driver (he’s the one who drove me and my daughter to the airport the night Mom died). And a few days ago he knocked on my door to present me with a precious gift–his mother’s pots.
These pots, I know, and the deeply beloved mother who stood over them, were what pumped the lifeblood through the Barashi home. Bubbling every Friday and erev Chag, filling the home and stroking the souls of her husband and children with the aromas of red kuba soup, meatballs with okra and tomatoes, and stuffed grape leaves.
I’ve never been a big or particularly skilled cook (in fact, the first thing I made in one of the pots, some rice this morning, I forgot about on the flame when I ran out to the corner store, and when I came home it had been burnt beyond recognition).
But, in any case, having these pots reminds me of a poem my sister, Miriam, read at Mom’s shloshim, and fills my heart with a dream that one day, like the Barashi children, my own kids will say this is how they felt too, about me and my pots.

Childhood by Kate Baer

I do not remember being born
or how I knew my mother’s face.
Only that we woke to the sound
of pots banging against the stove,
knowing she would be downstairs.

One comment

  1. Heartwarming

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