I have a black eye. No, Bob did not hit me although I am sure, after living with me for thirty-three years, it has crossed his mind a time or two. Believe it or not, I ran into a wall. Isn't that what they all say? Seriously, I did. It was about midnight and everyone had gone to bed. I was locking doors, checking the fireplace and listening to my stomach growl. As usual, my mind was running a million miles a minute as I walked down the hall. Somehow, I managed to forget how to walk, tripped over my own clodhoppers and fell face first into the wall. I broke my glasses, bruised my hands and knees and got a black eye. My parents must be so proud of me right about now!
Now about the fast. Yesterday was much easier than I thought it would be. I did have an "aha" moment however. For breakfast I had two eggs, toast and coffee, yogurt for a snack and a sandwich for lunch. No, I did not eat a 12 inch Subway sandwich, just a normal, homegrown kind of sandwich at my kitchen table. Later that evening, I made a great dinner for the family and even sat down and had coffee with them while they ate dessert. It really wasn't hard at all.
Like I said, I had an "aha" moment earlier in the day that put things in perspective for me. About three in the afternoon, as I was planning out dinner, I started to stress a bit over not eating with the family. Monday nights are family night with the girls and grandkids. How was I going to not eat? That's when it hit me like a lightening bolt. My breakfast and lunch added up nutritionally in one day to more than billions of people get in an entire week. All of a sudden, not eating dinner felt like a simple sacrifice to gain this new understanding. Thanks, God!
Do you mind if I talk about eating for a minute? Eating, for me, is about more than feeding my body. Eating means love. That sounds really bizarre but it is the truth. In my family, people did not say, “I love you” when I was growing up. They did love you but you just had to figure that out for yourself. You had a nice house to live in, toys to play with, private school, new clothes, vacations and food. What more did you need? Well, I needed to hear it. I love you. Would it have killed you people to say it once in awhile? I think I may be slipping into the anger stage of grief again.
So what does this have to do with my torrid affair with food? Food meant happiness, love, good times, laughing, and family. My mother loved to cook. No wait. I think my mother really liked to cook. What she loved, was feeding people. My aunts were the same way. They could have just told you to go to hell, but then they were going to make you sit and feed you until you were ready to explode. I guess being forced into a food induced stupor made you forget you were sentenced to hell per your aunt’s request. Many of my favorite childhood memories are of sitting under the table with my cousins and sister at my parent’s home or at one of my aunts homes, listening to the adults argue and curse at one another, as an aunt or uncle slipped another piece of salami to the bottom dwellers.
It only got worse as I got older. When my heart was breaking, my mother fed me pie. When I was angry, she took me out to lunch. When I was a major disappointment to her, she wouldn’t speak to me for weeks. She would however show up at my house with ten bags of groceries including ding dongs, frosted flakes and ice cream. She may not have liked me, blankedy blank blank, but she sure as hell was going to make sure I ate. Does this make my family sound like evil, hard people? Well, they weren’t. They were the best. They were everything I am and more. They even learned to actually say I love you in later years.
I am hoping and praying I will learn a lot this week from fasting. I am hoping I will care more for the hungry people of this world. I am hoping I will learn to feed my own soul in some new ways. I am hoping for no more black eyes. A person can hope ~