What do we do when we face a world that isn't the one we planned for? What do we do when our brief moments of joy are robbed? What do we do when accidents happen? I don't know. I don't know what we do. But I know what I've done. I've given myself a little more grace. I've reached out for love. I've reached out for guidance. I've reached out for therapy. And I've celebrated the mundane accomplishments I used to take for granted. A shower. A made bed. And a roasted chicken.
Sometimes the days fly by and I'm laying in bed at 11 at night like "What just happened? Who are those giant little people who were sitting at my dinner table? Am I paying enough attention? Am I giving them enough?" But last weekend, we did it. We had one of those days that I hope lives in the yellow halls of their childhood memories forever.
Dad wasn't perfect. He was good. He was a good person. He did good for others. He saw people. He loved people. And he often surprised people with quiet thoughtfulness. He was a savior. He was a confidant. He was a vigilante for your individuality in the middle of the night. He always wanted to curate an experience.
When I'm afraid of or uncomfortable with certain things, it's generally because I lack understanding. When I push myself past that initial fear or discomfort, I am always pleasantly surprised.
As spring creeps its head around the corner, the ground begins to loosen, the birds begin to return, winter dies. This winter seems to have lasted a year. But I feel apprehensive, yet renewed hope for a day, just on the other side of now, where I'm hugging my brother or strolling my daughter through the zoo. A day when I can go on a date with my husband or laugh in a movie theatre with my son.
It was one of the most important things Dad ever said to me. And in moments when I've struggled to meet a challenge, if I harken back to that moment and that success, I succeed again.
My name is Maddie. Madeline Suzanne. My nicknames? Shuffy, Shiney, B-Sweet, Little Maddie Fu-Sue, Crainch-Grainch, Crumpertina Meff-Mertudy (she's the cutest of the cute-cute-cuties), Crunchy, Shine-a-lau, Sholly, Shollarific, Madelina Suzanna Maria, Midge, Scrummy, and everybody's favorite: Screebits.
In searching for ways to feed myself (and him) in that period of my life, I did get to connect with my Aunt Amy more than usual. She is also vegan and discussing cooking with her during that relationship was a light in the darkness. I've kept a good handful of recipes from that time and plan to share them here and there. One of my favorites is Aunt Amy's Eggplant Bacon.