… struggling to find normal.
Oh my gosh – this is so hard. If you visit here very often, you may have seen my last post for Cranberry Eggnog Bread, which was also about my sister in law’s illness.
Unfortunately, we lost Janet on January 25th. Honestly, I just can’t find words for this, which is why it has been more than a month since my last post. Before anything else in blogging, I’m a writer, so you would think I would be able to define my feelings and communicate them to people. But I can’t seem to do that in a way that seems worthy of the loss.
I think it’s because I keep thinking I have to “big-picture’ this and come up with some grand summation of what she meant to me, and how impossible it seems that she is gone. All I can come up with are small pieces that slip from my grasp when I try to hold onto them.
On the other hand, I have to get back to work. Blogs have to have fresh content or bad things happen to them in terms of traffic and lots of other factors. And it’s not fair for me to ask people to follow my blog if I am going to neglect it. If I had a regular job, I would have had to go back to work a long time ago, so I just need to suck it up get back out here.
A comfort food round up seems like a good place to begin. We have been big on comfort food these past few weeks – it really does make you feel soothed and cared for. It has also been very cold and snowy here in Upstate NY, so cozy winter dishes are what we are craving. I’ve baked a lot of bread, made lots of soups and stews and yummy gooey desserts. From the looks of the weather forecast, we’re going to need more of that to get through the next few weeks.
Here are some of the favorites we have enjoyed lately:
Creamy Spinach Feta Soup
Bean with Bacon Soup (I reallllly like to photograph soup in this cup I guess 🙂 )
At the first of the year, before we had more than a slight inkling of what lay ahead, I mentioned in my wish for the New Year on Facebook, that to have a fabulous life, you need to find ways to be a blessing to other people. Just a few days later, when I was sitting with Janet, looking out on the wintry landscape through her living room window, where hospice had set up her bed, we had a conversation about the idea that there are two ways to approach each day.
You can go out into the world, looking for other people to be nice to you, to treat you the way you deserve to be treated, and to accommodate your needs OR you can venture forth, looking for ways to be kind, considerate, caring and uplifting to the people you meet. Standing in the receiving line at her funeral, as we spoke with hundreds of people whose lives she had touched, it was clear which way she met the world every day. I only hope I can do as well.
Be blessed this day, my friends.