Death by . . . Gramma?
I have joked for years that if I am found dead in bed one morning, don’t assume that I have had some kind of heart attack or blood clot. No, first thing you assume is manslaughter. Not first degree murder because my husband will have been soundly asleep when he killed me. He runs, fights, talks and all kinds of things in his sleep. More than once I have been awakened by him half sitting, adjusting his pillow and laying right back down on top of me, pillow on my face or head. Manslaughter, I tell ya.
My mother-in-law is also subconsciously trying to kill me. What is it when you didn’t really intend to kill someone but you should have known better? Reckless homicide? That’s what the call will be. It’s been going on for a while now so maybe we should up the ante.
Since my colectomy Gramma has asked me quite a few times about my diet and what I can and cannot eat now. I’ve explained many times but the vegetables really seem to elude her. Things getting stuck in the stoma and/or not digesting fully when you have no colon is really hard to absorb when you don’t see it firsthand. I keep answering her questions and remembering answering my own Grandmaw all those years ago when she asked me every day after school “who my teacher is this year.” Gramma is interested.
This year Thanksgiving was not so bad. I have cooked for years. Even last year when I couldn’t eat a thing but mashed potatoes, I cooked for everyone. Gramma always brings some dishes. She doesn’t have any standard dishes that she brings except pumpkin pie because well, everyone likes what I make and it’s plenty. She’s tried several different dishes but none of them have ever “stuck” and been something everyone really wanted over and over again.
Now I want everyone to be able to eat lots of different things and enjoy themselves but if I were bringing food to someone’s house, I would try to take at least one dish the hostess, who had done the majority of the cooking, could eat. This year, Gramma brought cooked cabbage with onions (I would have been up all night long with a bag like a balloon about to burst), stir-fry vegetables (not a chance, stoma blocking for sure), a cranberry relish made from raw cranberries and raw pears with the nuts on the side (blockage here I come and I’m allergic) and gravy (would I forget the gravy?) besides the pumpkin pie. This assortment is actually much better than previous years even though I ended up having to throw away the leftovers because nobody else in the house would eat them either.
Last year, it was a very appetizing looking baked cranberry dish. I had only eaten some mashed potatoes and a bite of dressing because I was so sick but it looked really good and I like cranberry so I took some out thinking maybe I would try to eat it later. I got a call later that evening, luckily before I had tried a bite. Gramma knows that I am highly allergic to nuts. So, she only put nuts in half of the cranberry casserole. Then when she got here, she forgot that she had put nuts in half of the casserole. When she got home, she saw a piece of tape on the dish and remembers that was to remind her that half of it had nuts but she didn’t know which half had the nuts. I have anaphylactic reaction, throat and tongue swelling, wheezing, can’t breathe, to nuts. I threw away the cranberry casserole. Nobody else in the house would eat that either. (She really thought I could eat the half without the nuts and be safe?)
The dinner before that it was a beautiful looking brownie, mousse type, whipped concoction that Gramma brought with her. Son #1 has Celiac Disease and can’t eat any gluten so he was disappointed to learn the brownies were not gluten free. Gramma suggested he pick the brownies out. We’ve known for years he has Celiac Disease. Those who did try the dessert remarked that it was really good. Gramma was encouraging me to try it. I was having the gut issues so I had been eating gluten free myself and wasn’t so sure about chocolate but it looked really good so I was standing there about to spoon up a little bit. Gramma starts listing off the ingredients for me. Brownies, chocolate pudding and cool whip; that won’t be too bad, I’m thinking. And then, after a minutes pause, oh and just a half cup of peanut butter, she says. I froze. Really? Just a half cup? Well, if it’s only a half a cup, surely that won’t kill me, right? Thankfully, I had not taken a bite.
At least this year the nuts came on the side, not in the dish. Not that it really mattered since I couldn’t eat it anyway but she did try.
One of my favorites movie quotes is from Evan Almighty when Morgan Freeman as God says, “Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, do you think God gives them patience? Or does He give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage or does He give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?”
Whether or not you believe in a God, these lines are certainly food for thought on patience, courage, wisdom, opportunity and family. I’m finding laughter helps me with the patience and the warm fuzzy feelings. I laugh, eat a drive thru something first or later if I have to eat at Gramma house, and joke that somebody should see that she is charged if I die after a holiday meal. Same as my husband if I die in my sleep.
Hope y’all had a lovely holiday meal with family.