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.
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.
My Momma is a damn good cook. She fed us so well all my life. And even though I began my life as a somewhat picky eater - and even though I continue to have a few of those early food quirks heldover - her ability to make things delicious inspired my life in ways I can't fully express.