Friday, August 13, 2010

Feeding The Soul

There's another thing that soothes the soul besides babies and beaches and beer and music.


We're Coreys; we eat.

And after a soul-soothing day at the beach, there is nothing more soothing than a seafood meal eaten on an outside dock on the water. So after our beach day on Sunday, to Captain Scott's we went.

Mistah had beach- and waterslide-hair.

Jacquie's girl told him he looked like a mad scientist, which was very generous. Jacquie and I told him he just looked mad.

While our small, still-in-Connecticut contingent devoured our delicious seafood love fest, I kept thinking about all the great food and all the great meals we all had together in the days after Dad died.

The day before Dad died he and his grandkids rolled grape leaves and stuffed yellow squash in anticipation of a giant Lebanese Feast planned for the next night.

That first night -- that surreal first night without Dad in our presence -- we did in fact eat that Lebanese feast. With food that Dad prepared for us. Which was equal parts magical and tragic.

(Somehow, Mom made taboule that day. It took her 6 hours. But it also took me 6 hours to clean 2 bathrooms, Jacquie 6 hours to buy an airplane ticket, Julie 6 hours to go for a run, and MB 6 hours to get the cable tv fixed. Mom was in good company.)

After that first night, though, none of us cooked for a week. The peeps? They fed us. And we are neither a small group -- we were 19 at our full strength -- nor are we modest eaters.

We're Coreys; we eat.

Mom and Dad's friends and condo-neighbors and colleagues provided meals for us every day for days and days in a row. Several of my sisters are excellent cooks but we were so busy and distracted those first few days, pulling together thoughts for the incredible eulogy MB and Julie delivered, and filling in details for the wonderful obituary Mistah wrote . . . those meals saved us.

We were treated to trays of lasagna and eggplant parmesan, bowls and bowls of gorgeous green salads, bread, deli meat trays, fruit, beer and wine and, one night, an incredible meal of beef tenderloin, roasted red potatoes and a beautiful salad. Which was not just generous and thoughtful and kind, but incredibly yummy.

Three of mom's nursing buddies sent over a case of wine that weekend, too. I thanked them at the wake. "I hope you'll all enjoy it." "Um, we did."

There was just such an outpouring of love for Dad, and for Mom and their girls, and we've felt it in so many ways over the last few weeks. The cards, the notes, the emails and texts, the facebook and blog comments, the crowds at the wake and the funeral . . .

. . . and the food. People send food because it's something they can do, and everybody -- everybody -- wants to do something. But food is also incredibly practical and necessary and thoughtful and nourishing, and is entirely appreciated.

It's soul-soothing.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Nice one, El! Love those photos. Food is dangerously soothing, and the comfort of feeling taken care of was also so very helpful. Let's not forget the bountiful fruit baskets, cakes, and more cookies than even a family of 20 could make a dent in!

I think I'll go soothe myself with some breakfast.



Springer Kneeblood said...

Family and friends are wonderful, aren't they? Just thinking about them makes me want to go hug every one of them! And your family, too!

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Cute photos! You're all so brown, and looking so marvelous.

Maybe it's all the homecooking ;-)

You're both welcome at my house anytime for a homecooked meal (well Trader Joe may help a wee bit).


Captain Dumbass said...

That's fantastic that you have that group of family and friends around you.

Mom C. said...

Beautiful pics Ellie, I miss you dollies.... love mom