Monday, May 28, 2012

This Chapter

I have been a very bad food blogger of late, because I've not been much of a cook. In my previous chapter I was inspired and driven to indulge in the fabulous, diverse and luscious vegetable kingdom, but lately I find myself forgetting to eat altogether, and rather than the centerpiece of the family table, my vegan food is now an afterthought since I do feel driven to feed my brood -- omni-healthy, omni-junk, and mostly-veg-but-not-vegan that they are. Above is an example of something good I actually made for myself one weekend. I remember making it from a recipe, but I cannot remember the details. There were lentils, radishes, celery, carrots and a tangy dressing. It was delicious, so I'll have to flip through my cookbooks again to find it. I had designs on packing it up for lunch at work, but, working only 10-2 each day, taking a lunch break doesn't make much sense. Instead, I bring a version of this each day:

That's the second half of my morning green juice, some nuts, raisins, coconut and dark chocolate and a couple of pieces of eziekiel bread with hummus and arugula. I never have more than a couple of bites of the sandwich at work, and instead wolf it down on the way to the grocery store at about 3:00 as I brainstorm to feed the others. Yes, I am losing weight, so I try to purposely include plenty of healthy fats and proteins in my food. Earth Balance, almond butter, dark chocolate, olive oil and tofutti cream cheese figure prominently, and I've also been indulging in something I would have avoided in the past because of the sugar content -- Silk soy milk with fruit juice. It's like melted ice cream to my palate, and gives me much needed afternoon energy.

This is such a strange chapter of my life. I cling to the routine of my wonderful job as it provides me with a deer-in-the headlights break from my continuing grief. I'm cognizant of the unspoken "get-over-it" that many who've not experienced this may now be feeling, so I keep much of it to myself now. Ironically, now -- two and a half months into a world without Jeanine, I'm feeling worse than before. I think I was so amazed at first that I was able to be function that I was feeling a little bit like supergirl, but now that has passed. I do feel good about what I contribute to my world, but I just miss her.

Today's Jeanine story:  My Aunt Gayle told me this story earlier this month -- She's my Mom's sister. Jeanine was well-liked in high school, what some of us might call "popular" Several classmates actually made the trip up to Fredricksburg from Portsmouth for the funeral. Back in high school there was a quiet boy who was characterized as "slow" and kept very much to himself. This was in the days before we diagnosed and treated this sort of thing. Most kids avoided contact with the boy, whether because they were unsure of how to interact with him or for fear of the toll the association might take as they jockeyed for social position. Jeanine always had a kind word for the boy, and really took the time to get to know him. This story was consistent with what I always knew to be true about my Mom -- she was a beauty queen who always put the feelings of others at the top of her priorities. Most folks who had met Jeanine had the experience of really being "heard".  Jeanine's soul was fed by really taking the time to understand the person who she was getting to know. She was a genius at compassion.

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