I’m in the back row, far right, my dad is holding me and my blonde hair is showing.
No, I don’t color my hair, I’m talking about my Italian roots. With yesterday being Thanksgiving, I made the traditional United States citizen meal of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry and pumpkin pie. It felt so wrong. I was not satisfied, deep down in the place I feel loss when I am feel disconnected to my roots. There is a longing for family and the “village” in me which is not met often enough.
One way for me to combat these feelings is to cook the foods which comforted me as a child, the foods I grew up eating and thought everyone had spaghetti and meatballs on Sundays with their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. I am cooking some homemade meatballs and using the canned sauce I made in September. Just the simple aromas of this food takes me to the place where I once again feel connected to my family, both alive and gone from my life through death and distance.
I’m trying to make some plans to visit my dad’s first cousin and his family again sometime next week. Being with them helps me feel connected. I’ll see my daughter, son-in-law and all my grandchildren in a week when we all gather for a very early Christmas celebration. Chaos will likely ensue but it’s familiar and will only be for a little while. I haven’t seen or held baby Benjamin since he was born. This is not right! I have to make time in my life to go and visit them more often. I might bring home the oldest two for a few days. We’ll see how that will work out.
In the meantime, I will partake of the comfort foods of my youth tonight; pasta, meatballs, sauce, cheese, and a good glass of wine. Oh don’t worry, I didn’t drink the wine as a child. I hear the wine my grandpa made was awful.