Last week was a tough week. I used to channel my emotions into food, and still do. Now, however that channel is a bit different. I used to channel my emotions into food through eating. Now I choose to feed others. I find great comfort in the nourishment and happiness of others in my life.
Sunday we learned of the sudden death of a 48 year old friend of ours. When I got the news, I felt as though I had been dealt a strong, swift kick to my gut. I could not breathe. I had difficulty processing the loss and my feelings at first as it all seemed unreal. The rest of the day Sunday seemed to just evaporate into thin air.
Monday I was so busy with work and preparing to coach that I lost track of time. My cousin, his wife, my aunt and uncle were planning to come for dinner. The cousins wanted to see the kids one last time. They received word that they are leaving for Angola for a job. They explained some of the basic dangers to the family over dinner. As excited as my children are for them, they are also a bit nervous. It was and will be a great learning experience for all of us….albeit a scary one. I allowed the kids to stay up late and enjoy time with my cousin and his wife as well as my aunt and uncle. It was a very emotional goodbye when they all left. I prepared chicken and potatoes…just basic comfort food. Nothing fancy. Having 9 people gathered around my table sharing stories, telling tales and laughing til we cried was more than satisfying. Spending time with family was priceless.
Tuesday was Mardi Gras and a rare night off for Dad. We prepared dinner together and sat as a family in the dining room. Stories, tales of our days and more laughs as we ate dinner and dessert satisfied our stomachs and souls.
I spent Wednesday night preparing red lunches for my own kids and 5 of their friends. Baking red bread, making sandwiches and bagging treats refocused my grief into love
Thursday was Valentine’s Day and the funeral Mass for our friend. I delivered lunches to 3 different homes and then got breakfast and lunch ready for my family. The feeling of feeding the bodies of these young people was my focus and filled my heart with joy. Each was thrilled and excited to receive a special lunch. My husband and I attended the funeral that same morning. As I sat in the church, I was filled with feelings of immense sadness, gratitude and love. The lunch afterwards with the filled with more tears and laughs, as well as stories of great love. When we arrived home a good friend of mine was waiting with a dinner prepared for us to enjoy later in the evening. What a treat!
The feeding of bodies and souls is something soothing for me. I find comfort and solace in filling the need for food. To some it is just a meal….for me it is so much more.