There are certain foods that hit the spot. I know that when I am sick or hurting I turn to those foods to comfort me. (I also know that this habit can get me into trouble diet wise.) It is not really the foods so much, as it is the memories of the feelings they bring. These foods are like family because they are associated with all family gatherings.
This week my mom made my dinner after I returned from the hospital…a good home cooked meal. On that plate were memories of warm family times. Christmas was on that plate, as was Easter. It was just what I needed to begin the recovery process from surgery.
As I ate, both my grandmothers were there, comforting me. One grandmother was there through the green beans and the other through macaroni and cheese. If smells can bring back memories, then tastes transport me back to times gone by. I was instantly comforted when I ate this home-cooked with love dinner. I know it sounds crazy, but this food began my healing. Nutrition was only a minor player here. Emotionally, it caught me off guard how quickly my mouth and mind connected the flavors to my grandmothers. I miss them and I always feel it when there are smells and tastes around that remind me of them. And the care my mom took to bring me just the right thing at just the right time solidified our family’s time honored tradition of comfort foods…there is a long list. But for me this week, green beans and mac and cheese were the ones that sparked the nurture and care of family.
In illness, it is remarkable the things that you appreciate. Little things that didn’t matter before, like who cooked what at holidays matter now. The little things are what get you through the hard times. This surgery was minor compared to this previous year. I am recovering nicely and feel relatively normal. My body is adjusting to this new intrusion and I think it will be back to regular once I practice enough. Again, I am grateful to God for bringing me through…and for comfort foods.