I have never read the book or seen the play Love, Loss and What I Wore. However, “love, loss and what we ate” popped into my head as I reviewed 2012. It is a pretty apt description of 2012 for the Coleman family. This past year has been bittersweet but thankfully the sweet drowned out the bitter…
I’ll start with love, because that is always a great place to start. I wrote about the four kinds of love in a post that I wrote on Mom in the City after seeing an advanced screening of LES MISÉRABLES. I am happy to write that I still have all four kinds of love (that the movie so vibrantly illuminated!) in abundance…
1. The unconditional love of God (agape)
2. The love of close friends (philia)
3. The love between family members (storge)
4. The intimate love of my husband (eros)
Ultimately, love is the dream…and I’m living the dream!
However, with love comes loss. This year, we experienced some challenging losses to our normal way of life. While I will tell you what is going on with my life in person, I don’t write a lot about things that involve other people online out of respect for their stories. Before writing this, I asked my husband what he felt comfortable with me sharing because it is more his loss than mine. He was fine with it though, so I’ll share briefly. Basically, Reggie’s mom has had Alzheimer’s disease for a while. However, she was doing pretty well. In the last few months though, she has advanced to Stage 7 (very severe decline). It has been heartbreaking to see the circle of life so vividly played out. Reggie’s father was also diagnosed with cancer for the second time this year. Surgeries, hospital visits and chemotherapy visits have really rocked our “normal” family schedule. Obviously, it has been hard on my husband. It has also been hard on the kids as they see the changes. It has just been a lot overall, as we have learned to get into this new “rhythm” of life. We are officially a part of the sandwich generation. We just had to figure out how to embrace the loss of our former way of life and accept it without getting squished! It took a few months, but I think that we are there/seeing the beauty in our new normal.
Lastly, food – what we ate – has played a key role in our year. (What? We are a foodie family! :-)) Food has popped up in so many ways…
1. I ended up in a food (Special K) commercial that has reconnected me with so many friends from my past. Backstory: I was covering a Special K event a couple of years ago for a blogging assignment. Somehow, a snippet of what I said, “Confidence…I like that!” ended up in an online piece and 3 national commercials! How random and cool is that?!
2. I have had so much fun with Foodie City Mom. It has really helped me to experiment with new foods and to become a better baker this year. (My family thanks you, dear readers!)
3. This year has really taught me that food is a great way to express love. I’m a “give them what they want (within moderation)” type of cook and baker. My goal is to be able to make everything that the people whom I love desire to eat. My husband has had such a challenging year that it was my pleasure to be able to make him whatever he desires…especially for his birthday week in November. (I didn’t know that he was going to request almost 15 things, but okay!) This past week while we were on holiday break, it has been fun to prepare whatever “my guys” wanted for dinner each night. Most importantly, it has been my joy to cook and bake for my father-in-law this year. Sometimes when people are being treated for cancer, they lose their appetites. When they do have a craving for something, you just go with it. One of the simple pleasures of this year is that my father-in-law always eats the food that I prepare for him. In fact, for his birthday and holiday gifts, he told my husband that he didn’t really want a physical gift (he has or can get anything that money can buy). Rather, he just wanted me to cook for him. Those Coleman men sure do know how to steal my heart!
In any event, 2012 has been a wild ride – filled with many highs and a couple of lows. I think (hope!) that I have learned the lessons that I needed to grasp from this year and I’m looking forward to 2013. The best is yet to come…
If you enjoyed this post, please forward it to a friend or tell them to sign up here. Thanks!