Fromance

I went to our local dairy this morning to buy a loaf of bread, as it was already 9am and my stomach was begging for breakfast. I am reasonably casual when it comes to eating breakfast and having a slice of toast with my peppermint green tea is as good as it is going to get today…that is until my nose smelled the sweet lingering aroma of freshly baked something. My eyes followed the scent to a shelf filled with baked pastries, but it is the deliciously golden croissants that matched the mystery aroma. Instinctively I asked for 2 (1 for myself and 1 for my son) and immediately my thoughts were filled with Nigella inspired ideas for this little buttery gem.

I admit that I have a food romance, or as I call it a fromance. I never thought that it is ever possible for someone who has suffered from eating disorders to feel a connection with food, other than pure loathing. I can’t say that I am always comfortable around food, especially when my insecurities convince me that I can do without, but I honestly and truthfully LOVE it!

So arriving home with my little parcel of scrumptiousness, I lathered the croissants with butter, blueberry jam and grated cheese and placed it under the grill. My tea was brewing and the combined smell made my tummy turn inside out from excitement! The minutes following was pure bliss. I sat down at my desk making sure that my son was occupied because I do not want to be disturbed as I take crunchy mouthfuls of sweet, salty, buttery goodness. I was immediately transported to our local French market La Cigale: sitting in the warmth of the sun as a cool breeze swirls the flavours of baked breads, French cheeses, smoked fish, fruit chutneys and the all familiar croissant. Birds rejoicing in the overhanging branches of nearby trees and people enjoying each other’s company.

Food is meant to be made with love, shared amongst loved ones and given as a gift of thoughtfulness. It can arouse the senses, awaken a playfulness between partners and fulfil desires. Food is romantic!

I hope that today you too will be sitting at a market place, or in a park at a picnic or walking along a vineyard during your fromance.

 

 

Heartbreak

Completely off topic today, but heartbreak and pain is such a universal experience, it doesn’t discriminate nor does it choose a timely manner of appearance.

How do I tell my 11 year old daughter that someone she admires and respect is dying? I have had several family members pass away but she was either too young to know or understand, or didn’t know them due to us immigrating. She however has NEVER lost anyone she has become familiar with.

How do I keep my composure when all I want to do is cry? This situation brings a flood of memories from when one of my dear university friends lost her mother to cancer. I remember that day she send me a text. Her words were short and to the point. She asked that I pray for her mother as an aggressive cancerous growth was found. It came as a great shock as I had just recently visited with them and her mom showed no signs of being ill. I prayed: I prayed for healing, I prayed for her mother’s care, but mostly I prayed for my friend. I truly believed her mom will get better because that is how faith works, isn’t it?

A few weeks later I contacted my friend to ask if we can meet up for a coffee. I wanted to know that she is okay and also to find out the progress of her mother. She replied by asking if I would go with her that afternoon to visit her mom then we can have a lunch together at the little café inside the hospital. I said yes, because that is what friends do, support each other even if it means you hold the other persons hand while they watch their mother’s demise. I asked my friend a lot of questions regarding her mom so that I could mentally prepare for what I was about to witness. But nothing could prepare me.

Walking into the oncology ward was somewhat eerie. I have been to the ER before which is a rush and impersonal, the maternity ward which is filled with nervous excitement and the children’s ward where the walls are covered with bright and playful characters. The oncology ward however is silent, the nurses are friendly but they seem to walk around with a false sense of hope. We approached her mother’s room and just before entering she took my hand, squeezed it and said it will be okay. Her mom was unrecognisable. We sat next to her bed and she told her mom that I came to visit. Her mom was barely conscious due to the pain relief, but she looked in my direction, gave a faint smile and nodded. We extended a few words and stayed for a cup of tea (which was provided by the nurses). My friend held her mother’s hand during the entire visit. The love on her face towards her mother was breathtakingly beautiful and I knew that a prayer was answered when I noticed this exchange, she is being cared for. We ended our visit with a lengthy good bye as I knew it will be the last time I get to see her. A few days later I received a text from my friend saying the doctors contacted her family asking them to prepare for the worse and say their final good byes. I knew the content of her next text send that same day…”my mother just passed away”. There are no words, and even if you manage to scrape a few words together what do you say?

Tonight I will hold my daughter a little bit tighter in my arms, wipe any tears away, give her hand a slight squeeze and whisper that all will be okay.