Garlic and Onions

I have been afraid my whole life. If not fear of failure, then fear of pain, injustice, insanity, and of death.  When I was a young boy, I lay in bed one summer evening with my bedroom window open.  I heard a screen door squeak slowly. Then distinct metallic clicks of fate locking into place followed by a deafening blast. The cat meowing in the still night air now sadly silent. Footsteps echoed off the vast expanse of the glass and concrete car foundry behind our home. Next, a hollow rumble and clank of a garbage can lid opening and closing with a soft thud of unmistakable reality between. Finally again footsteps, now muffled by my panicked heartbeats, ended in the slam of satisfaction I am sure was focused only on a good night’s sleep.

Today that memory remains as crisp and clear to me as the moment my heart broke that night knowing life can end so unexpectedly. Yet somehow courage still found its way into my consciousness to temper the old fears in a multitude of ways. Not necessarily from any sense of heroics as dramatic as saving a child from the burning building scenario. But courage for me comes in knowing there is hope. Hope for the possibility of relief from fear and suffering. I suspect that knowledge of what we fear, and why, are topics many often silently contend with on a variety of levels and extremes.  The most challenging torments we can imagine would certainly seem about as popular an idea to discuss as attending an onion and garlic peeling party.

One other moment comes to mind for me when thinking about fear and change. After relocating to live with my Grandma I found the first night alone in that house my father and uncles had grown up in to be cold, empty, and dark. Knowing my Grandma was just down the hall brought no comfort for me. What surprisingly created a sense of calm was when I grabbed a book to read. I made up my mind to no longer hold on to the idea of the life I had come to know, living at home with my sisters and parents. That world had changed. My family was separating. My sisters had graduated and were moving away. My parents divorced. I lived with my Grandma now and I suddenly felt relief at the thought of it. So how does this have anything to do with onions and garlic?

The connection is with the fact that discussing life changing events or processes are not always easy to understand or accept. Especially when dealing with changing health and lost independence. The subject stinks, like garlic and can cause watery eyes, like onions will.  But there is something else I learned while living with my Grandma. I learned that with just the right amount of onion and garlic added to a sauce for pasta or broth for soup, suddenly the inconvenience of the initial reaction to the seasonings becomes well worth the effort.  The meals were so much more flavorful and enriched. And as many of us already know, it takes many attempts to find the right ingredients and the exact timing for cooking and preparation to achieve the perfect recipe!

Caring Choices offers the seasonings of our experience and understanding, the garlic and onion, for your recipe of life. Hopefully with sincere discussion and preparation you can improve the taste of changes and eliminate the sourness of fear. How do you want the broth of your care to be simmered and how would you like the flavor of love to be delivered for you or your loved ones at the time when nothing else matters but comfort, peace, and hope.

(c) 2014 Caring Choices