Sunday, June 7, 2009

Chili Mac

The last conversation I had online with Pokey was mostly about his R&R. He was due to come home for 2 weeks in May. One of the other guys had just gotten back and Pokey was worried we were going to have some huge party for him. He didn't want anyone to know when he was coming home. Wanted to decompress for a couple of days with just the family. I had no problem with the idea of not sharing him with the world for a few days. One of the things he asked was for me to cook chili mac. Now chili mac is poor mans food. macaroni noodles with chili dumped in and stir. Of all the things I have ever cooked I was amused he wanted chili mac. But he asked for it so I was gonna make it. Well I have not been able to cook chili mac since he was killed. I still can't. it's a stupid thing but I had planned to make it for him and knowing he won't be here to eat it is just too hard for me. It's weird the little things that get to me. Like cooking the meal he asked for.

There are other little things that I avoid. It seems silly when I look at it but maybe it's normal. I am not sure I know what normal is anymore though. I just know its not what it once was. There are movies I can't watch. And others I can't watch enough. I won't eat peach jelly beans. They were his favorite. I bought a case of peach soda once and was out the store before I realized I couldn't mail them to him. I sat in my car and cried. The big reminders, the obvious one are easier. It's the little ones.. like chili mac and peach jelly beans that are so much harder. You don't prepare for the little things.

Tonight my other children requested Chili mac for dinner tomorrow. I don't want to tell them why I don't want to make it. I don't want to open the wounds they have too. So I have encouraged my daughter to help out tomorrow and cook dinner. They will have chili mac. But it will be awhile longer before I can make it for them.


David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 06/08/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

AFSister said...

Having your daughter make it is the perfect way to pass along the legacy without having to make it yourself.
It's the perfect solution.

It doesn't surprise me a bit that he wanted comfort food and time to decompress. That's what I would have wanted: Mom's swiss steak, mashed potatoes and german chocolate cake.

About a year after my grandma died, something really funny happpened. I can't remember what it was now, but I *do* remember immediately picking up the phone and dialing her number to tell her. As soon as I realized what number I dialed, I hung up and cried. It's a testiment to those we love when we freely associate automatic responses to them- like buying peach soda.

Knottie said...

Somehow I ended up making the chili mac for dinner... Managed not to cry. have to look at it as overcoming an obstacle.

Holger Awakens said...


I'm sure there will be many other little things that you will end up overcoming as time goes by - I'm sure it's a bit like how you can write about things now when perhaps, a number of months ago you might have thought you couldn't go there, even here.

You're alwasy an inspiration, young lady and we miss you over at JKH.

A Soldier's Mother said...

Like most of your posts, this one touches a nerve and I find myself thinking of it in my life and context. There are special things that Elie loves...I don't know if I would find the courage to face don't want to hear that you amaze me, that I am so awed by your grace - because you consider it a struggle and natural and perhaps that it is a face and not really you. But you give so many strength. You teach the value of living, even with pain. You teach giving, even when you lose something so precious. Micheal was as blessed to have had you - as you were to have had him. Thank you for keeping his memory alive and sharing him with us...even when it brings tears to your eyes...and ours. May God cradle Micheal in His arms with love and cherish him and watch over him - as you did in his life.