I just attended two funerals in two days for elderly women who were part of our church family. I was worried a bit about how many would come considering the ban of groups more than 10 congregating during the virus outbreak. While there was an impact, no doubt, the biggest impact to me personally was how the stories affected me.
Maybe these are times when we need to get really personal, and not just fluff out the standard funeral protocol verbiage on a life, but I was drawn by the food memories being shared. I think our bodies have the ability to share it's memories with our brains. Food is of utmost importance to our bodies, and it relishes those who take such care to make it tasty, fill the home with warmth and aromas that literally make our mouths water. It leans in and wants to hug in gratitude.
So these stories of children talking about how their favorite meals made them feel special, loved, or when they saw the "can" of food come out of the cupboard they knew to find nourishment elsewhere that evening, made us laugh and recall our own memories. Some were surprised to learn that one lovely women really did not even like to cook, but she did so with love knowing it was necessary for her tribe. She did not just rise above it, she found a purpose in it, so the love would come through. Cookies were held to an even higher regard in their memory banks, sweets for the sweet. How it made a hard day feel easier. How it was their "favorite" and that they "knew" was made just for them. Person after person could tell you about the food, the gatherings that proffered it in abundance, how wonderful it made them feel.
The grandchildren, kept those stories coming too. One after the other, the chicken, or roast beef, those cookies, those pies, those bars, that red banana jello. One man's ugh is an others treasure. I kept thinking, it is the most basic of needs done with love that we all cling to, that make us feel special, cared for, loved. We develop traditions around the feeling certain foods add to the uniqueness of an event. To this day, I make my mother in-laws cinnamon rolls when my grown children gather or have a need, because it brings them comfort. How many times do I make a simple something because I can tell that person needs a little love.
In a world that can get you down with the fear and greed of many, companies needing more profit than personal connections, it helps for me to remember it is our "senses" that can bring us back to joy and miraculous love. Look at the rain drop, listen to the thunder, hug your circle, smell the bread baking or that new baby, and taste all that love. Right now, in a time like we have never experienced before, we do need to resist the stockpiling of goods so that all can keep having their basic needs met, they produce some of our most treasured memories.
We are blessed to be here, in this country, we have so much, and until the larger gatherings can once again be sanctioned, within your tribe, your small circle, make the basics count. Put on some of those good ol' tunes and bake up memories. I guarantee someone will fondly remember you for it.
Much love to you and yours.
Life on Gravel
About the Author
City girl sharing stories of a life full of country glitter and other shit.