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The Rock

(by Layce Lynne Kieu)

A drunk driver can change the trajectory of your life in an instant. I was slammed against the interior of the car, suffering internal injuries, and taken to a hospital known back then as “Killer King” for its track record of accidental patient deaths. I remember my mom telling the staff that she wanted to take me to a better hospital. Their response was, “Sure, but she will probably die right away.”

Here’s what you need to know about my mom: She has always been a mama bear and would never let anything happen to her kids. Always defended us in any way she could. Once she was called to the principal’s office because I had gotten into a fight with a teacher. I knew I was in a lot of trouble, but all my mother heard was that a teacher had hit me. By the time she left, I was no longer in trouble and had become a teacher’s assistant for the elementary school across the street. I’m not sure what she said, but the principal was terrified of her.

When my mom arrived at the hospital after the accident, I could see her fear but also her anger, as the doctors couldn’t figure out where my bleeding was coming from. She typically stays calm, but she speaks in a “you better take care of it” voice.

It turned out that I had a ruptured spleen, which was removed. Holding my hand when I woke from surgery, my mom offered assurance: “It’s okay, you didn’t need it.” But my digestive system was traumatized, and when I returned home, I could no longer eat many foods.

That’s when Mom swung into action. She began experimenting to find out what wouldn’t hurt my stomach. All my life, I’d been able to eat what I wanted, so the restricted diet felt almost impossible. I was a single mom, struggling to recover, and was never much of a cook. Mom did not let us cook in her kitchen, ever. She loved teaching us, but we were not allowed in her kitchen alone. I always kept her company while she was cooking, and we talked about everything together. Most of the important things I wanted to say happened while my mom was cooking.

So Mom helped me with easy recipes, like her eggs with wild onions. She figured out how to make my favorite dishes and comfort food.

When your mom is your rock, you're halfway on the road to healing.


Layce Lynne Kieu is an actress, singer, and model. She can be found at and Backstage.

Wild Onions and Eggs

1 - 2 fresh wild onions, peeled and sliced

1 T. butter

2 eggs, beaten

salt and pepper

Soak onions in water for up to 4 hours.

Heat pan over low heat low and add butter.

Once butter is melted, add onions.

Cook slowly until translucent.

Add eggs, and cook until soft curds form.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Rosezetta's Potato Salad

5 lb. russet potatoes

8 eggs

4 green onions

4 oz. black olives

12 oz. sweet pickle relish

15 oz. sandwich spread (Best Foods only)

8 oz. Miracle Whip

1 t. paprika

Clean and peel potatoes, and cut into large pieces.

Bring a large pot of water to boil, and cook potatoes until tender.

Drain and place in a large mixing bowl.

Place eggs in a pan of cold water, bring to a boil, turn off heat, and cover for 12 minutes.

Peel eggs and cut into small pieces, reserving a few large rounds for decorating.

Stir sandwich spread and pickle relish into potatoes.

Add chopped egg, green onions, and olives.

Add Miracle Whip and mix well.

Top with reserved sliced eggs, and sprinkle with paprika.

Refrigerate until serving.


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