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Verses from my Kitchen: A moment to remember

August 11, 2011

A moment to remember

I've started this post so many times that I lost count. I've turned the television on and off. I've repeatedly checked my watch, as if I was responsible for some incredibly important moment. I've done everything. Almost.

I have not written this post.

When I hear about stories of loved ones losing loved ones, I'm shook. But because life is frantic and carries on, I carry on with it. I try.
There are other scenarios that hit closer to home. Moments when the word shattered aptly describes the state of chaos and emotion and loss that fills a room. A huge void and space. Left unfilled. To someone, everyone and all the people they know.

I've long been considered an emotional man. I weep when I'm touched. Sometimes it's as insignificant as a man playing with this children, an elderly couple still in love and losing time with one another or a reunion of souls.

When pain strikes close to home though, I don't weep. Sometimes I lose the ability to reason and think and let go. And those times I just blank out. I stare and pretend that if I don't give it my attention it might just go away.

That's one approach.

Other times, like with my grandmother, I sobbed. I was young, at my first year of university, and upon learning of her passing I sobbed so uncontrollably that I had to be lead from the funeral home during visitation hours. I stayed awake for days remembering. I wrote and wrote and sobbed. And those days have a soft spot in my heart, just like she did.

When I was in Washington for a food blogging conference a few months ago I met some great people. The community is great and caring and helpful. I listened intently during the panels when people with more knowledge and understanding than I, spoke. One of those people controlled the room when it was her turn. And this past week, she lost her husband unexpectedly.

When the news broke I felt numb. So many things went through my mind. Jennifer lost her husband and two children lost their father. That shook me. I immediately thought of my wife. I wanted to hold her forever. And then I thought of myself. I'm roughly the same age. It scared me. I'm not going to lie. I was afraid.

After my mind rushed away on me, I took a moment and thought. I thought of that family of three, now forever changed and forever different. Forever guided by the memory of a man who loved his family. Forever. And that day will stay with them until forever disappears. Gone.

My wife and I are blessed for many reasons. Most significantly because we have each other, over everything else. I don't see my friends as much anymore now that they have moved and started families plus we're both single children. So I get to spend a lot of time with my wife, and for that I'm blessed. Lucky.

A couple of days ago when I mentioned this tragic turn of events, I rolled over and held my wife. I never wanted to let go. Not now. Not ever. I know I don't have that power, but I'll do anything within mine to make sure we enjoy all those moments of tomorrow, today.

We spent that day enjoying each other's company. It was hot and bright outside and the neighbourhood was crawling with life. Little children and parents. And I thought about that one family that won't ever have that moment again.

I went inside and made us a sandwich and a drink. This sandwich and drink. My twist on a classic turkey sandwich and a raspberry crush soda cocktail. Simple food shared between two simple people in love.

We sat outside and we enjoyed our blessings. The day in front of us, the pale yellow sky overhead, and each other. Always each other. My wife closed her eyes to listen to the soft breeze blowing, while I kept mine directly attached to her.

I know within a few days we'll all be caught back up with the hectic pace of life and we'll momentarily forget about the true important moments and people in front of us. That's what we do. We live and move forward. But no matter what, we'll never forget. Never.

From my kitchen to yours, happy eating!

P.S. I'll be making my pie later and sharing it with my wife

Raspberry Crush Tonic

  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 2 tbsp. 1:1 simple syrup
  • 4 large sprigs of basil, plus extra for garnish
  • 1/2 cup gin
  • 1 tbsp. bitters
  • 1 tbsp.lemon juice
  • tonic water
  1. Reserve 8 raspberries.
  2. Using a shaker, add the remaining berries, simple syrup and basil and muddle until the berries are mashed. Stir in the gin, bitters and lemon juice. Pour through a sieve and back into the shaker with filled with ice.
  3. Serve cocktail over ice into four glasses and top with tonic water and two raspberries plus fresh basil.


At August 12, 2011 at 12:10 AM , Blogger Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen said...

Crushing isn't it, the thought of loosing your best friend. I don't know Jennnie, just from her blog. I can't shake the upset. I've always been one to let the ones I love know how I feel every day. As always your writing and photos are so moving, touching.

At August 12, 2011 at 12:47 AM , Anonymous SMITH BITES said...

it's times like these i want TIME to stand still . . . to just be able to breathe . . . and not watch the world go on as if nothing's happened. 'don't they know someone just died?'i scream in my head; 'don't they know someone lost the love of her life, that 2 beautiful children have lost their father??' this has knocked me to my knees this week - i have cried so many tears for so many days i have lost count. because i am afraid. i am afraid that i will lose the love of my life, my rock, my true north, the person who keeps me sane. so i stop, we stop . . . and just be. take it all in, etching these moments into the deep parts of our brains so we never forget: a touch, a smell, a moment. i am very, very grateful for this moment, for right now - and i'm working on not projecting into the future so it doesn't rob me of today.

beautiful post Mike

At August 12, 2011 at 7:54 AM , Anonymous Amanda said...

This is so powerful... not only do you tell a story with words but with your art, your photography. And I dont know about anyone else, but I am just in love with your love for your family. (if that makes any sense) Be blessed.

At August 12, 2011 at 3:26 PM , Anonymous Paula - bell'alimento said...

Just beautiful. You have a way with making words come to life : )

At August 12, 2011 at 5:18 PM , Anonymous Jenni said...

Beautiful post. Just beautiful. My Beloved and I will be spending the day together tomorrow, driving around aimlessly and enjoying each others' company. I look forward to it. Tonight, we will be eating his favorite food, followed by peanut butter pie.

At August 12, 2011 at 8:37 PM , Blogger Kristen - Dine & Dish said...

I don't know what it is about your writing style - so raw and emotion filled - but just about every time I come here I leave moved. Hold her tight, Mike... hold her tight.

At August 12, 2011 at 9:46 PM , Blogger Kimmy Bingham said...

I've spent the week simply rattled. I keep thinking of Jennie and her girls. There's so much profound sadness there. It's a reminder to always treasure every single moment.

At August 12, 2011 at 10:21 PM , Anonymous Meghan@travelwinedine said...

So beautiful and all about what's important.

At August 12, 2011 at 10:39 PM , Blogger Wenderly said...


Hold tight...Live in the moment and love. Something that I think that we all need to do.

I know I will. Beautifully written.

At August 13, 2011 at 12:02 AM , Anonymous Barbara | Creative Culinary said...

Your words convey that you are an emotional man even in posts that don't carry with them the tragedy of these circumstances. I too have cried a river of tears; I've been totally useless at getting any work done this week and I think of my own children...so at a point where showing me how independent they are has us at odds most days.

How I wish I had this cool cocktails ready to take with me up to my room where I hope to find the quiet and the rest the last few nights have not provided me. But I don't. I will soon...thanks Mike, lovely post, lovely drink, lovely man.

At August 13, 2011 at 6:42 AM , Blogger myFudo said...

Lovely post Mike so emotional. A drink to your wife. Great blog.

At August 13, 2011 at 1:58 PM , Blogger Shaina said...

Such a beautiful post, Mike, and so well said. Your wife is blessed to have you, and I know you will never take her for granted.

At August 14, 2011 at 1:55 PM , Anonymous marla {family fresh cooking} said...

Hey Mike, thank you. For the raspberry drink, the sandwich, your creativity & friendship.
You are a good honest guy. Thanks for sharing your true emotions with us :)

At August 14, 2011 at 7:35 PM , Blogger Eliotseats said...

What an eloquent post. Your wife is very lucky.

At August 15, 2011 at 11:31 PM , Blogger Eron Truran said...

Thank you so much for your words. As I try to make sense of this tragedy and pull meaning togehter in my own life, I appreciate your elegance and the deep love for your wife that comes through in your writing.

At August 16, 2011 at 11:01 PM , Anonymous stampedconcrete said...

nice post .. looks so delicious .. i like it .. thanks for sharing .. i will try that .. thanks


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