Finding the words is tricky, life is tricky. Actually tricky doesn’t even begin to cover it. The past two years have been the hardest of my life, I am not actually sure I am ready to dive into the details. But, with that being said they might just come flowing out. I have always been very in control of things that occur in my life. In the last two years that went out the window…or at least it felt like it did. As my very wise sister Beth says, “life is lifey”. I have never felt like this before, so much is out of my hands, so much is out of my control. Almost to date two years ago my mother in law was diagnosed with cancer, a little over a year ago my mother was diagnosed with cancer. They both, along with two of my grandparents died in the last four months. I wish I could write the words they all deserve, I can’t. I wouldn’t even know where to start and that is not what I am doing here.
What am I doing here? I am not even sure I know. But, I do know one thing, this journey has to be mine. About me. For some that might sound selfish and I am ok with that. My husband and I were both caregivers for our Mom’s final stages of life. I would not begin to presume about his experiences but I can tell you that I had some of the best and worst moments of my life within that last year with my Mom. She was a freaking rockstar, seriously, the strongest person I have ever met. She was graceful in moments no one should have to show grace, strong in moments that would bring down the most powerful of people, kind in moments even the most Godly of people would have snapped. I will forever be in awe of this amazing woman, I can only hope to inspire the same awe in my own children one day(although, the thought of doing it without her breaks my heart).
My Mom was a foodie in the most genuine, unpretentious sense of the word. She loved food (shit, it is so hard typing about her in the past tense, but if I don’t that’s denial right?) cooking it, eating it, sharing it with others. One of the hardest things to watch and experience with Mom was her body’s rejection of food and, at times, even the thought of food. She would get so discouraged she would struggle to think of foods that sounded appealing and the second she thought of something we would all jump to try and make it happen. My Mom was an incredible cook, truly a home chef. Her small Christmas request were typically things for the kitchen and I would wager that if asked about her favorite memories they took place either in a theatre or in a kitchen. Mom was such a bad-ass she was on Pinterest before I was and man did she know how to use it. She would categorize, share, and create boards mostly with other people in mind. Indian food boards for my step-dad Gwyn, fast healthy recipes to feed a whole family for my sister Beth, vegetarian foods for sister Jiff, meatloaf and other comfort foods for brother Rob, cocktails and soups for me. How well she knew us, and how much she loved us.
As Thomas and I drove away from her house I felt a strange sense of homelessness (which is ridiculous, we have a lovely home). Somewhere on the six hour journey I began searching for any cyber footprint my Mom had left. Went years back in facebook, search through old emails, went through google photos, and finally landing on her Pinterest page. Man, this was so Mom. Even towards the end she was finding and sharing pins. It was at this moment I had an idea, a way to channel my grief, something to focus on, a project (man, do I love a project).
So, here it is my project: I am going to Julie & Julia my way through my Mom’s Pinterest page. For those of you not familiar with the 2009 comedy-drama here’s the low down… the adorable Amy Adams plays Julie Powell, a young writer with an unpleasant job, in need of a change and to do something she enjoys, she decides to cook every recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961) by Julia Child (played by the amazing Meryl Streep) in one year; Powell decides to write a blog to motivate herself and document her progress. For those of you wondering I totally copied and pasted that.
So yeah, I am going to cook/read/travel my way through Mom’s Pinterest page and write about it for anyone who might want to read it. Unlike the movie, I am not putting a time frame on this project, just going to do what I can do when I can do it. First things first I have to figure out how to work up the courage to actually go in a grocery store.
Follow the journey