A Mother Still Lives In A Kitchen’s Aromas





.....“I never go to her grave... but I see her often, when I enter a warm kitchen and smell the rich aroma of a roast or Irish soda bread in the oven, or enter a church and catch a glimpse of an old woman working her Rosary beads in the quiet splendor.” Katie Reilly Gallagher’s youngest son remembered her this way to a local newspaper. “ I was the last of six children, a surprise to her late years and, I’m happy to say, spoiled rotten. “Kate’s kitchen was the arena for argument and arbitration, a laboratory for laughter where we kids tried out jokes, a haven from rejection a warm place to gossip and a place of nourishment and giving. It was Mom’s realm and without pomp or ceremony she ruled over it with such ease and benevolence that we never knew she was in complete control. Mom was one smart apple and she loved us without question even when we were holy or unholy terrors.

“There were times when she had to be both mother and father because Dad worked so hard and long, She was equal to the task, Kate understood that laughter, a good meal, a pat on the back, an example of spirituality, an occasional kick in the rear, plus optimism, encouragement and a tea cup full of love was the recipe for raising loving children. She gave us cod liver oil when Spring came, wool mittens for winter, day trips to Point Pleasant in the summer and gorgeous hugs when we thought our little worlds were ending.
.....Mom also gave us God in large and small doses just like cod liver oil. Kate had no theology but a hell of a lot of religion. She decorated our home with more pictures and statues of Jesus, the Sacred Heart, St. Anthony, St. Jude, Mary and St. Theresa than exist in the Vatican Art Gallery.
.....“I won’t go to her grave this Mother’s day. No. I’ll be with my wife and I’ll try to see my three sisters. There’s a lot of Kate in all of them, thanks be to God. I’ll walk around their kitchens, smell the grand aroma of a good roast, and soda bread, see a picture of the Sacred Heart on the wall and get a warm smile.. Old Kate is alive in them and I’ll remember her through them.”.




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