For Grandma, Food Is Love.
Food is where the heart is.
More often than we think, it's the dinner table where we as people come together to share stories and enjoy each other’s company. Every family has some sort of tradition that brings people together over a home cooked meal or even a restaurant prepared event. Food is the conduit that brings us together. Food is all about healing too…
This year has been tough. My dad passed away from illness in March. He was the strong silent type (except with a couple of beers in him) a great person, husband, father, son and brother, and friend. He battled cancer and other sicknesses for just about 4 years until he passed. The time he was sick and battling was hard on us all. We watched him battle and ultimately pass. Everyone goes through it at some point and it is a terrible thing to endure.
What I have learned though is that you must celebrate the good times and remember people for what positive impact they brought. Yes, there is going to be sad days and time of emotional distress because your loved one is no longer physically present. But if you can take what they taught you, remember the good stories and smile when their name is said, you can heal.
My dad was a cooking machine. He taught me how to cook. He showed me the ropes of patience with BBQing and making the best brunch possible. He loved trying new things with food and he and my mom always had parties and people over where they both cooked up something so good.
My granny Blair would probably say she taught dad how to cook. She makes the world’s greatest butter tarts. She also makes everything else under the sun! My dad always went over to my grandmas for lunch and suppers. He especially went for those meals when he was sick. There is nothing like a home-cooked meal to make you feel better. He would go once a week or sometimes more. He got out of the house, got to visit with his mom and get spoiled by her too. It was great for granny too. She got to take of her baby even though he was 60 (moms know). She loved having him over and it was a time they shared and it was special.
So after dad passed it was especially difficult for granny. Still is. I just happen to not work downtown anymore and my new office is literally half a mile from grandmas. So I decided to call her one day and say I am coming for lunch. She said ok, today?? I said nope, let’s make it a date every 2nd Thursday. She was so excited. I love going for lunch and hanging out with granny. The food is amazing, she tries to cook different things and asks me what I like. She said to me she looks forward to this every time we do lunch. It is the highlight of her week!
I help teach this stuff to people. So I said to my wife Jess I need to lead by example. This is a servant leadership practice of healing. Together, my grandmother and I can reflect on the impact of my father on both of us. Tell stories, laugh and sometimes cry. I make an effort of intentionally being present to help my grandma fill the void of not seeing her son. Preparing the meal helps grandma show her love again. He no longer is there physically but I am. It makes her feel better and helps her heal. It also helps me. I get to spend more time with my grandma and better our relationship. Oh, and I get to eat wicked food! Food is love.