Too Much Tea and Sweetbread: Separating the Relationship between Food and Comfort

Gloria - my Grandmother. AKA, "Vovo"
Gloria – my Grandmother. AKA, “Vovo”
I suppose the time has come to tell the difference between all the tea offered in good times and in times of distress and the love of the person offering it…
Gloria - my Grandmother. AKA, "Vovo"
Gloria – my Grandmother. AKA, “Vovo”

I’ve come up with a different way of thinking of things when it comes to dealing with the loss of my grandmother… and it’s this: When someone close to you dies it’s almost as if you can feel them rooting for you – praying for you on the other side.  And I can feel it most times.

So in one way, my grandmother (Vovo) is rooting for me with respect to reaching my overall goal in this Soul Project toward happiness and inner peace – part of which includes getting down to a healthier weight.  And yet in another way, much of our time spent together was over food and drink – an association I have to somehow reconcile.  When she initially left us on December 8th, 2012, I drank more tea than ever before.  I ate more bread than ever before.  Subconsciously, I think it made me feel closer to her.

When I was younger I was brought to my Vovo’s by my father quite often.  And they were happy times mostly – greeted by sweet steeping tea – the way that only Vovo could do – followed by the scent of fresh-from-the-oven sweetbread filling the air as soon you walked in the door.  It was pure love.  That’s how she expressed it at least – through food and drink.  And as I got older, Vovo’s was a place I often visited to heal a broken heart – and it was exactly as with the hit TV show, “Big Bang Theory,” when Sheldon Cooper believed it be customary (passed down by his mother) to offer a hot beverage to a friend in distress.  It was soothing to the soul.

I suppose the time has come to tell the difference between all the tea offered in good times and in times of distress and the love of the person offering it…

The tea is an emotional trigger to more nostalgic times – and it’s okay to remember her and think of her when I drink it.  But it’s more important to perhaps be as she was – an open door to those who need it.  Offering whatever it is I have to give to make things better in whatever way I can – just as Vovo did. With her strong Portuguese accent; sometimes struggling in how to say something in English in a way I could understand, her offering of tea and sweetbread was universally understood.  Again pure love.  So in separating the comfort of food from the offering of pure love, I can cope with how to re-prioritize this relationship with food and drink.  For the record, although I try, I can’t make my tea taste like Vovo’s.  And I don’t make sweetbread from scratch like she did either.  But I have other gifts I can give freely – like she did.  And perhaps in giving and focusing on others, the emphasis on food as a way of coping with emotions will eventually subside.

Miss you Vovo,

Love Nancy.
xo

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