14 May, 2013

And so we make food.

It's become ingrained in me to make food in the case of big, life-altering events. If someone gives birth, make the family a casserole. If someone gets hurt, make the family a casserole. If someone passes a way, make the family a casserole.

I picked up this trait from my mother. Whenever something happened to a family at church or a friend in the community you would soon thereafter find her in the kitchen whipping up an enchilada casserole. She would take it over, visit for a few minutes, and then leave not wanting to take up too much of their time.

I had no idea that this action had become so much a part of who I am until I was in North Carolina and a woman I had known for no more than a few weeks and had spent no more than a few hours with found out that her father had passed away unexpectedly. She was the wife of another Marine that Dan worked with. When Dan came home and told me the news I instantly started making a list for all the things I needed to make enchilada.

I told her I was making this for her and asked when a good time to drop it off was. I ended up staying for some time. She was 3,000 miles away from the family she wanted to be with and company seemed a good fit at that moment.

It was the first moment I felt grown-up. It was no longer my mom making the dish and giving her condolences; my mom didn't even know these hurting people. It was me. It was my job to help in this small way.

It helps me, too. My Type-A personality needs to be active. I need to do something especially when tragedy strikes.

Well, tragedy has struck.

It's hard to watch someone you love lose someone they cared so much about. There is something so deep in me that wants to take that pain away. What can I do? How can I help? But, there is nothing I can do. If there is anything I understand about the grief I have seen in the past 48 hours it is that nothing relieves it.

It's just there. It is all encompassing.

And so, because there is nothing that I can physically do, nothing that will dull the pain or make time pass quickly, I make food.

We'll take it to the family who is hurting on a level I can't begin to imagine. It will fill only a basic need for the grieved, but it's all we can do - we make food because we have to do something.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, gosh. I'm so so sorry.
    I feel immediately better for anyone who has you nearby--not just because I'm sure the casserole is delicious, but because I know what a deeply good person you are and that your presence will be calming.
    I love you and your whole family and I hope you guys are doing all right.