Who knew? I mean it’s not something that’s ever happened before. I had no idea that stuffing and I were so close it could make me cry. But it did. In a very big way. And I was caught unaware right there in the aisle of the grocery store. Unaware and unprepared for the force of emotions that washed over me and left me sobbing and left my husband bewildered.
It was a very innocent trip to the store to stock up for Thanksgiving dinner. Had everything in the cart and turned down the aisle with the bread crumbs and the premixed stuffing selections and the seasonings. I looked up at the canister of bread crumbs and instantly, tears began to stream down my face as I choked back sobs. Steve came beside me, placed a hand on my back and rubbed gentle little circles between my shoulder blades.
“I don’t understand. What happened?”
“I saw the bread crumbs and it reminded me of my mom.”
My mom passed away October 20th, and I’m in that phase of mourning where just seeing something or hearing something brings a flood of tears. Mornings are the worst for me. I’ll be getting ready for work, see the time on the clock and break down. But stuffing caught me off guard.
From the time I was old enough to wield a knife, I sat in the kitchen with my mom and dad and–while they did other things–I chopped onion and celery into microscopic slivers for my mom’s homemade turkey stuffing. Mom liked the flavor of both in her stuffing but hated biting into chunks of either one. After I got married and moved away, my dad took over my dicing duties unless by some stroke of luck we arrived early enough for me to do the honor.
It’s been many years since I last chopped any onion or celery in my mom’s kitchen, which is why I was taken aback when, right there in the aisle, I was overtaken with emotion. I guess I just never expected a canister of bread crumbs to affect me in quite a personal way.
Mom was an excellent cook. She was the best friend I never expected, but was blessed to have. She was strength and grace and beauty and charm. She was warm and funny and loving and tough. She was heart and soul and faith and light. She was generous and giving and sympathetic and compassionate. She and my dad were active participants in my life and I have equal parts of both of them inside of me–of the person I am. And because of all of that, stuffing can make me cry!
I miss my mom. I will miss her for the rest of my life, but we will meet again, and what a reunion that will be!
2016 has been a year of hard knocks and loss, but it has also been a year of great blessing, and I have much to be thankful for. And I am indeed thankful.
Until next time, may you always be able to see the blessings in your life and may the memories you share add flavor to your days!