He Treats Me to a Feast; Notes from my Abundant Life
With no regrets...
To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
Today, we heard of the passing of an extended family member, affectionately known to us as “Uncle Dennis.” He’d been frail in the wake of a heart attack, and the prognosis was not good. We’d visited him in the hospital, unresponsive, just a week ago. We always let him know how important he was to us. He was a devout man, good man, warm and thoughtful. For these reasons, amongst so many, I say goodbye with no regrets.
Regret is a hard burden to suffer when it is accompanied by grief. Grief is bad enough on its own, but when missed opportunity hangs beside the mantle of grief upon your shoulders, the weight can be nearly unbearable. That is why, despite sadness, I can say goodbye, with no regrets.
There is a time for everything, as I explained to the children this morning. Quoting their Great-Grammy, herself 92, “we did not come here to stay.” That doesn’t make saying goodbye any easier, when its time. However, when we can manage even a tearful goodbye, knowing while there may be more to say, everything that needed to be said and done was said and done, perhaps we pine more for what we’ll never do, rather than for what we should’ve done.
Certainly, mine is not the deepest hurt. His wife of more than 50 years will miss him sorely. Peers and those who grew up under his watchful tutelage will have different aches to bear. I am merely grieving wife of a saddened nephew, mother to children who miss an extra-surrogating grandfather, one who acknowledges that while there are times to be born, this seems my family’s season to bury.
I am thankful that we visited him, as a family, one last time, whether or not he knew we were there. We said our goodbyes. So, while I am sad, I shed a few less tears, believing that the full measure of fondness we held for him was known to him. We will miss you, Uncle Den for the blessing you were in our lives. Your memory stays with us forever, reminding us that even in grief, there is joy, yet another reminder that God is Good.
Today’s Feast: Mama Cile’s Pound Cake
Back story-The southern girl in me starts cooking and baking when somebody dies (it’s what we do). This is basically the recipe, but it’s not one I ever follow anymore. I’ve been making this cake for more than 20 years and I add/subtract/ enhance as suits my mood. If you need a pound cake recipe template however, THIS IS IT. This is a marvelously heavy, dense cake, not for sissies or dieters…I’m just sayin’…this cake is more art than science....
1 lb each:
Eggs (6 large)
Powdered sugar (sifted)
1 t vanilla flavoring or dark rum
1 T lemon, orange, grapefruit or lime zest (any or all)
1 package cream cheese (whipped)
Cream together butter, eggs. And then cream cheese in a large bowl. Add dry ingredients gradually to the butter egg mixture. If you’ve done it properly, and it’s a relatively dry (as opposed to humid) day, the batter will look like wet cement (dense). Spoon into a buttered and flour dusted pan and bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees until done (test with spaghetti, it should come out completely clean).
Remove from the pan and cool, inverted, on a rack.
Making it sexy….add in any or all of the following:
- · Shredded coconut (about 1 cup)
- · Minced fresh ginger (2 T)
- · The juice of any fresh citrus you’ve zested and added (you may need to add a couple tablespoons of flour to ensure the batter doesn’t’ get too sloppy-wet
- · Diced dried fruit (any you like, about 1 cup…you might want to shake it with a little flour so that it suspends in the batter rather than falling to the bottom of the pan)