Comfort Food

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I can't even begin to show gratitude to my friends and family for their thoughts, love, support, and acts of kindness. We received such an outpouring of emotional strength from both near and far.

That night, I was prepared to curl up in a ball in the dark, quietly flooding our bed with remnants of my broken heart. Don would be there, and Mari would be an energetic ball of fire until bed, but in the quiet of the night, well, those ripped dreams would creep back up, taunting me in a solitary waltz, the very epitome of the darkness of life. Yes, I was going to have a full-fledged pity party and I'd been saving my tears for the occasion.

And then my phone rang. I hadn't been answering the phone or any texts. It took every bit of happiness I had to hold myself together, because I really thought my arm would break off, or my leg would shatter with the next step. Not overblown drama, I was feeling very fragile and breakable. But I answered this one call, and the assertive and concerned voice on the other end proclaimed, "I'm on my way." Before I could respond otherwise, I relented, and quietly whispered, "Please hurry." Moments later, Primo rushes through my front door, and parks himself next to me. An hour later, Ada has swooshed in. A couple of hours after that, Lindsey showed with sweet, sweet monkey bread. Each of them bearing gifts, lending their strong shoulders, and just being there.

We opened our $100 bottle of Marston. When we bought it in Napa, we were going to open it on our first date after having Pepper. It was an indulgence, a grand indulgence, yes! We described all of the wines we purchased as a memory in a bottle. We opened it and I was immediately transformed back to that place. It was special (and I promise, a blog to come) and amazing and brilliant. I fell in love with Don right under that arbor and I looked over at him, grateful that he chose me, grateful that he was there, picking me up, supporting me, loving me.

Simon was in the kitchen working, toiling over the hot stove, producing a labor of love. The emotions started flowing when he walked in and handed me sushi. For 8 weeks I'd gone without that simple indulgence, and here, just like that, I could have it again. Tears streamed down my face, bitter, yes, but the touching.

The wine generously poured, we clinked glasses and slowly ate our meal. Homemade macaroni and cheese, made with tiny shells because it is my favorite pasta shape. Dill potatoes made to perfection. Roasted duck, with the fat so incredibly delectable, I could feel the love filling my belly. Haricot vert, fresh green beans, amazing, and I don't like green beans. Beef tenderloin, bloody and rare, just like I like it and how I'd refused to eat while we were in Napa. Finally, fideo, Mexican pasta that is a supreme comfort food. My great-grandmother and great aunts made this for me. My grandmother used to cook this for me. Mom would make this for me growing up. Over the years, when I was feeling especially nostalgic and needed to connect to my roots, I'd make myself a pot of fideo and I was there cradled in their arms. And just like those times, once again, I was wrapped tightly in their arms.

I sipped the glass of wine with each bite. Each one giving me more strength, more hope, taking away the hurt. I had a happy plate, an empty glass, and I literally crawled to bed because mother nature was doing her job. I no longer had the anxiety for what was to come. I was ready.

Later that night, I felt the wings of angels all around me and I rested without anxiety, more at peace, less pain, and comforted with God's grace.

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