Sunday, July 6, 2008

Forgive me, but this is cheaper than therapy. Cooking also helps.

The other day marked the anniversary of my mom's sudden, untimely death. My dad and I sent eachother our usual daily e-mails, never once mentioning it. Then, at around lunchtime he called me at work and said, "Uh, Honey?"
"Yeah, Daddy?" I responded.
"Never mind," he said. "You're at work."
"It's OK, Dad---what? Are you OK?"
"Yeah. But, you know what today is, don't you?"

I knew. But, unlike Dad, I have the luxury of a full-time job, two jacked-up little kids and a husband to occupy my time and my mind. So, we chatted for a few minutes about how we couldn't believe it'd been three years and how, for him, it still feels as recent as last week. I so wish I could change that for him. For me, mercifully, it doesn't feel that way anymore, but it still smarts.

The graciousness and goodness of people still amazes me every day---our neighbor brought cookies with a note that said, "Thinking of you this weekend," and several of my co-workers came by my desk that day with hugs. I also got e-mails from friends and family. I don't know why that date sticks in people's memory; perhaps it was because it was over a holiday weekend.

Over the last few days I've taken comfort in all the nice folks we know. I've also found solace in my good friends Ben and Jerry, so I need to watch it 'cause those guys are bad, bad influences.

Yesterday the kidlets, H and I went to one of our local farmer's markets and my haul included some yellow squash, zucchini, vidalia onions as large as softballs, dark red cherries, tomatoes (both ripe and green) and sweet corn. I came home and threw myself into cooking every bit of it the best way I knew how, with a few twists. I threw some parmesan and cream into the sauteed squash and onions. I added horseradish to the dipping sauce for the fried green tomatoes. The corn was so sweet and juicy it needed nothing but a quick dip in some boiling water and a shake or two of salt. And, yes, we can say we had "just veggies" for dinner even though there was cheese, cream and frying involved. Hey, this is the south. We're allowed.


Dawn said...

yum! you so smart. you're a regular kitchen magician!
tracy, i remember every bit of that day and the devastation and the utter disbelief of it all. i don't know how you went on after that, but you did. you and i both have had to go on after unthinkable tragedy. it's something that we understand in our own way and will always be one of the many deep, lasting and loving bonds between us. xxxoooo

TracyMama said...

Yes, and of all the many, many reasons why I was meant to meet you many years ago, I think this is the most important one. Our loved ones died in similar ways, around the same time of year, so the suffocating heat of southern summer means something else to us entirely. Of all the people I've had to tell my story to (grief counselor, minister, etc.) you're the only one in my orbit who can truly relate. xo