Comfort and Tears
Today has been a productive day full of successful completions as I near the end of my Fall 2010 Semester at SLCC. It’s “Finals Weekend” and I’ve been buried under an onslaught of final projects, final essays and the amazing opportunity to retake any exams I did poorly on the first time around. So, I’ve taken advantage of that in the hopes that I can boot up my grade in the one class in which I’m doing embarrassingly poor.
All of this has been done to a soundtrack as wide and varied as I, myself, am. I have listened to the full spectrum of music – from 80’s dance music, 80’s new wave, 80’s alternative (seeing a pattern there???), new age, country, hard rock, comedy and Christmas. When I’ve felt overwhelmed, I’ve taken a break and wandered out to the living room to gaze at the sparkling Christmas tree. Or I’ve made myself a delectable breakfast. Or I’ve taken a nap. Interestingly, I’m having a really good time.
This evening, after a nap and a bit of work on the next “final,” I decided that I wanted some good “comfort” food and began to prepare dinner for myself, dad and his wife. I realized I was craving fried chicken and set about making it and the standard accompanying dishes – corn, mashed potatoes, gravy and biscuits. I listened to music and danced around the kitchen, singing out to the empty house while I watched the rain come down. (Wait a minute! Rain? It’s December! What’s with the rain???)
One of my favorite things about drop biscuits is to eat the first one hot out of the oven, dripping with butter. Mmmmmmmmm! I didn’t pass on that delight this time around and grinned as the butter dripped down the sides and splattered in my palm. I would have been scolded for doing that when I was younger. Oh the joys of adulthood! And… may I point out… I AM quite easily pleased.
As it neared time for them to be home, the aroma of home cooking filled the air and warmed the atmosphere. I felt cozy and hoped they would feel the same when they walked in to the scents. They hurried in, commenting on the delicious smells and I started dishing up my plate.
Suddenly, my eyes were filling with tears and I didn’t know why. I checked in, I felt immense gratitude for the blessings of living in a place where I have at my disposal the makings for this hot dinner and a bed in which I took an afternoon nap. But it wasn’t the gratitude that was causing the tears.
I took a deep breath. I waited.
This dinner was a favorite of my former husband and is a gentle, loving memory of our time together. Tears spilled down my cheeks and splashed to the counter as the wave of sadness crested and crashed over me.
I stood still and quiet in the middle of the memories, in the middle of the sadness, in the middle of the depth of… I don’t know what. I don’t know how to explain what it is I feel for him. And, those who know me well, feel so confused by my love for him. But, I do love him. Despite his choices. Despite where he is now… in a place where this kind of dinner is not an option. I love him.
And… tonight, as I ate my dinner, awash with these emotions and feeling strangely vulnerable and raw… tonight this dinner was cloaked in memories of loving times of days gone by.
Then, as I come to the close of this post, over the streaming airwaves comes the song, “The Christmas Shoes.” I used to hate this song. Immensely. Until I got a text from my former husband on 12/24/2008:
I am sitting in front of 7-11 bawling my eyes out to the song “sir I want to buy these shoes.” Today I am happy….. =-)
Little did we know what was to come or that that would be the last Christmas Eve shopping he would do for a very long time.
Now I’m sitting here for a moment, honoring myself as the memories crash and bounce about, the tears flow and my heart fills to overflowing with love.
Sometimes, life is a curious thing…