Tonight we dined with Jesus as he prepared us for his departure. For a reason that I am not sure about, I thought of my parents' last meal. I hope this is not a sin comparing Christ to my parents... putting them on the same level... but somehow I don't really think it is wrong. I am now able to humanize thoroughly what it must be like to chew and swallow your last bite of food. My mother's was a strawberry. One of the first things a nurse told us when my mother was put in ICU was that my mother needed to eat. We tried everything... artificially sweetened pudding. I crushed some strawberries and gave that to her. She had lost the desire for any sustanance. She actually clenched her jaws. She could not speak any more. The doctor came in and I could tell that he was not pleased that I had tried to force my mother to eat. That spoke volumns to me. My mother did not want to live. The doctor said that food could actually harm her at this stage and cause her discomfort. I would honor my mother's wishes. Only two weeks before in a phone conversation I had with her, while I was living in Mexico, my mother had stated that she did not want to go on. She had suffered so much, I knew, that she knew best. No more food. No more sweet, salty, tangy, spicey food. Nothing colorful, soft or crisp. All the things she loved, being the fabulous cook she was. Her last meal had been prepared and been eaten. What was the last meal she prepared and what was it? Her magic was always delectable. Aromas from the kitchen were mouth-watering... pots simmering with sauce, skillets sizzling with Italian sausage, a saucepan steaming with broccoli and peas mixed together. All a memory now. The kitchen is empty and ready for another wife and mother to come in and prepare meals for her family and friends.
My father... well, my father was supposed to have three months to wait until he would take his journey to join my mother. A nanno-second made up my mind that I would be at his side, preparing him for his voyage. I wanted him to smell Italian food cooking in the kitchen, reminding him just a little (after all, how could I prepare anything half as good as my mother's food?!), of the taste of sauce and pasta... and think, "it won't be much longer, Rosemary, and I will be with you." My father could barely swallow and the cancer had robbed him of his desire to eat. Three months only lasted three weeks. My dad was gone. I called him my "Indiana Jones". His years in WW II, plus jobs and then working and living around the world made him a man of all seasons. In the night he was off to his next big adventure. Tonight my mother prepared the most wonderful meal for my father... and invited all of Heaven to join.
It was our Savior's Last Supper... a meal to remember....
“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. Yet that will be the beginning." Louis L'Amour