Because if I've learned anything from this tumultuous timeline it's that I've got to go for it with all my heart. I have to believe in myself. I have to try.
I'm not saying I always take the right path at the parental win fork in the road. But I realized right then how precious these tiny moments that seem so insignificant are. Maybe she wouldn't have remembered this day, no matter my reaction. She's still so young. I don't have memories from that age.
When flipping through recipes I always stop a moment on Dayton's Chunky Tomato Soup, even if I know I'm not adding it to the week's menu. Just the title and I'm transported. There I am in the den of my childhood home. The home my grandfather purchased for his growing family in the early 60s. The home where my mother and aunts and uncles grew up. The Grey House, sitting catty-corner on its giant lot on a street that used to be the suburbs but increasingly edges more and more towards midtown.
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.
Is it great to lip grab a bass and snap a picture? It is great to toss a few in the basket, hoping maybe this time we'll catch enough for a fish dinner? It is thrilling when your son catches a fish for the first time, only to have a larger fish jump out of the water to try to grab the fish he's pulling through the surface? Yes. But when I think of fishing I don't think of a taut line. I don't think of a wild reel. I don't think of the dance it requires to succeed.
My husband's birthday was this past week. It was his second pandemic birthday. One was hard enough for my Aries, but we made it through. Hopefully this is the last he has to spend isolation from the rest of the world. He loves the world. And being in it. And I can't wait to go back into it with him.
It's hard sometimes to be able to set aside an hour to let something cook in the oven. Which is insane because, what, do I have to chain myself to the oven while it cooks? No. Is it actually easier for me? Yes. But it's the start time that's always getting in the way.
What has lasted in her absence is what often seems to last: Food. Her perfect, perfect Salmon Soufflé. Now, because both Aunt Sue and Mamaw are beyond us, I can say what I'm about to say, without fear of an uprising. Aunt Sue's Salmon Soufflé wins. It is the winner of a life-long feud: Mamaw's Salmon Loaf or Aunt Sue's Salmon Soufflé?
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.
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.