It was the second tradition that was giving me trouble. Since 2001, I've written a journal entry about my mom on this date, and this year I couldn't think of anything to write. So of course I did what anyone would do when stuck for an idea: I watched an episode of Firefly. Specifically, I watched "Shindig" with the commentary track turned on. And then I turned off the commentary track and watched it again.
About halfway through the episode, it occurred to me that if she hadn't died four years before it aired, I could have gotten my mom hooked on Firefly. She wasn't much of a science fiction fan, but she was capable of enjoying anything, as long as it was good. She liked Monty Python's Flying Circus, and Upstairs, Downstairs. She liked Nat King Cole, and Tchaikovsky, and Blondie. She liked books about the Spanish Civil War, and Judy Bolton mysteries.
And more to the point, she was always interested in what her kids were interested in. Goodness knows she never would have watched a single episode of Doctor Who if I hadn't wanted to watch it. She wouldn't have paid good money to see Escape From New York if I had been old enough to see it without a parent or guardian. She wouldn't have read Bridge to Terabithia or Number the Stars if I hadn't insisted she do so. So there's no question in my mind that I could have gotten her to watch Firefly (and Buffy and Arrested Development), and read the Harry Potter books, and listen to Dar Williams and the New Pornographers. Because those things are important to me, and my mom's philosophy was that if something was important to her children, it was important to her too. That's one of the reasons I loved her, and why I still miss her so much.