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Food Memory

Whenever I'd come home from several months away at college, Grandma would always make sure to have fried chicken and potato salad for me practically as soon as I stepped off the plane. I always looked forward to tasting happiness in the form of vinegary batter and goodness in the creamy, starched dish. Every grandchild had a special dish they'd receive when arriving at her house, but being the favorite had its perks. It didn't matter if my plane landed at 11:30 at night. We'd always make a quick stop by Grandma's to say hello and retrieve the tasty treats.

Holidays were another affair altogether. Even as we all grew older, cousins married (thus spending some Christmases elsewhere), and others moved away, the fist southern bell always insisted on making far too much food all by herself. If you piled only one plate high with food and were unable to return to the bountiful table for a second helping, you were considered by Grandma to be ill. (I was never accused of this since I often ate my own weight in spiral ham, mashed potatoes, fried lace cornbread and rich chocolate pie).

In August of this year, my wonderful grandmother, still so full of life and joy, went to Heaven. Everyone was transformed in that moment, forever altered by a senseless accident that cut short the life of a vibrant human being. Two of my uncles no longer speak to my mother or I. My grandfather ran to Florida to hide from the memories and is now living with one of those uncles who tells him daily how my mother and I are just money hungry, evil women who don't really love him. One of my cousins who was always jells of the attention Grandma gave me didn't even speak to me at her viewing.

The saddest part of all though is there will be no more loud laughing after too many glasses of wine. No more seafood dinners at our favorite holiday haunts. No more crab salad on crackers after the Christmas Eve service.

And no more fried chicken and potato salad.

Comments

( 14 Tattoos — Write a Song )
roina_arwen
Dec. 2nd, 2011 05:14 am (UTC)
A very sweet memory.
sweeny_todd
Dec. 2nd, 2011 09:42 am (UTC)
firstly - good entry. It is sad how the loss of someone so pinnical in the family has resulted in those splits :-(

secondly in the second para I think you have a type "fist southern belle" rather than "first southern belle"?

and maybe "jealous" rather than "jells" in the third para?
lawchicky
Dec. 2nd, 2011 01:08 pm (UTC)
That is so awful :( I hate how sometimes a death can bring out the worst in families when it should be a time for them to come together.
noodledays
Dec. 2nd, 2011 08:17 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry about your grandmother and missing out on the wonderful things you associate with her.
basric
Dec. 3rd, 2011 06:05 am (UTC)
I have found the most loving families, including my own after a death suddenly become Dr. Jekyll. Well written. You hold tight to your memories of her and don't allow them to taint them.
theafaye
Dec. 3rd, 2011 09:44 am (UTC)
Sometimes we don't realise how much one person holds a family together until they're gone. I'm sorry your family has changed like this.
myrna_bird
Dec. 3rd, 2011 08:22 pm (UTC)
My condolences on losing your grandmother. It is sad how a family can get torn apart this way.
similiesslip
Dec. 4th, 2011 05:07 am (UTC)
I'm sorry about all the changes. Your grandmother sounds like a very special woman.

I hope your grandfather will soon realize how much he misses you and remember who you and your mom really are.
solstice_singer
Dec. 4th, 2011 08:24 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm super close to my grandma, and I have no idea what life will be like when she passes.
whipchick
Dec. 5th, 2011 12:14 am (UTC)
So sorry to hear that your family is estranged...what beautiful memories you have of your grandmother.
ellakite
Dec. 5th, 2011 11:47 am (UTC)
So sorry.
Always painful to hear when a family falls apart when one member passes. My family does have our fair share of disagreements, but so far we haven't had the kind of dissension that you describe with your uncles and cousins.

Thank you for sharing this... and I hope things improve.
imafarmgirl
Dec. 5th, 2011 07:18 pm (UTC)
This is so sad. I am sorry for your loss of food, family, a wonderful woman, and peace among your extended family.
mstrobel
Dec. 5th, 2011 07:54 pm (UTC)
Aw man, that's just heartbreaking to read.
java_fiend
Dec. 6th, 2011 12:29 am (UTC)
It really is sad that a tragic accident can tear a family apart like that. I'm so sorry for your loss. :-(
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