Turns out, everything.
Welcome to the love portion of our program! Mainly because it’s a weeknight and a worknight and about 107 degrees so dinner was simple. Poached eggs over herbed couscous, a simple salad of artisan greens, olive oil and salt and pepper and then mixed berries with pistachio whipped cream. Delicious but shamefully simple. Plus I cheated and used my poacher so this is not the poached egg lesson. And the couscous was a box. I’m nothing if not honest so I’m hanging my head in a bit of shame. But not enough to turn in my food blogging card.
So…love. Yes, I am definitely in love. And blissfully, incandescently, nauseatingly happy. Crazy story. Staci and I worked for the same hospice but out of different offices so we had not yet met. She had worked there for 20 years, starting out as a CNA and getting her LVN about the same time I started as an RN. The company hosted a yearly retreat for new hires starting at the nursing level. So how serendipitous is it that this 20 year employee would be at the same retreat as this 2 month employee? My divorce was just final and my ex and I were actually kind of seeing each other and thinking about giving it another go. (In the end we realized too much damage had been done and we both moved on.)
Upon meeting her, I was immediately drawn to Staci in a way I can’t explain. I remember just wanting to be wherever she was that weekend. I didn’t give much thought to why, which is actually not like me at all. I’m generally very self aware and analyze my actions and motives ad nauseum. She was incredibly kind, very generous and hilarious as hell! I hadn’t done a lot of laughing in a very long time and she had me laughing all weekend. It was a very bonding experience for everyone there (part of the point, I’m sure) and we all group texted for months afterwards. Staci and I were also kismet-ically on the same call rotation both during the week and on the weekends so we covered for each other a lot. I always knew I had reliable backup in her and I happily went to a 3am death call over an hour away because she was tied up. I knew she’d do the same for me in a heartbeat. I rarely saw or spoke with her but when I did I would really miss her for a few days after. Again, I never gave it a thought. She was just always full of such positive energy and very easy to be around. Plus she wasn’t available, not that the thought ever even crossed my mind. She was loved by everyone who knew her so I was just another name on that list. And I had pain of my own to heal. I was also in the middle of planning a life relocation after my youngest stepson graduated the following May, to be in the Twin Cities and closer to my family. There was absolutely no reason for it to even cross my mind that she would change my life in the way that she did. To be continued….teehee…I know, I do have a bit of a mean streak.
Love on another level. My mom and dad both dodged bullets this past week. My dad found out he has Lyme’s Disease but it was caught early and after a hefty round of antibiotics, things are looking good. My very healthy mom had a 99% blockage in her LAD (for those of you who are NOT nurses, this is a main heart artery). No symptoms or anything so it could have been a very dangerous situation. They were able to rotor root it out and place a stent and she is already on the mend! But it does get one to thinking about the fragility of it all and the importance of generosity in love.
I can’t express that, despite the failed relationships and heartache, how tremendously blessed I have been when it comes to love. Or how thankful and grateful I am for it. My parents have loved me without condition. The first person I ever fell in love with was my little sister when I was not even 8 and she still is my touchstone. God has demonstrated His love to me in the love I have felt from others and I don’t doubt that for one instant. Who would I be if I closed my heart because of a few (albeit big) bumps along the way. “Love was not put in your heart to stay. Love isn’t love until you give it away.” What a life… Love…ain’t it grand? Sorry readers, tonight you got the sap, not the sass and I bet it won’t be the last time! Hug a little harder today, folks!
Happy reading, joyful cooking and spread the love!