It was the early 90’s and I was in the midst of divorcing the man with whom I’d planned on spending the rest of my life. It wasn’t a pretty time. We fought with the same passion we’d had in loving each other. The lawyers became our only method of communication.
At some point, things began to settle down and life as we knew it fell into a pattern. I worked, attended classes, raised the boys to the best of my ability. He took the boys every other weekend. At some point, my ex-husband and I became civil to one another. He got into a relationship with someone else and so did I.
One afternoon my phone rang and it was him. It was odd for him to call me and I assumed it was something to do with the children. Instead, he asked a question that rather caught me by surprise. “Could I get your recipes for some of my favorite meals to give to my girlfriend?”
I chuckled to myself and made copies for him. And, in spite of encouragement from my friends to not include everything, I copied them as exactly as I could.
I thought of him today, when Mike’s son returned from a visit with his aunt and grandparents. We were sitting down to dinner when they arrived. It was one of my quick meals – tuna casserole, green beans and garlic bread.
When they came in, I asked if they had eaten and they said they had. I fed the others and wandered back and forth between the kitchen and living room, alternating between supervising the meal and visiting with the family.
When the children were done eating I went into the kitchen to clear off the table and put away any leftovers. And there I found Mike’s younger son, with a plate of tuna casserole in front of him.
I grinned. “I thought you just ate before you came home.” He grinned back. “I did, but you know I love your cheesy tuna casserole.”
After dinner, I peeled and chopped potatoes and an onion for tomorrow’s potato soup. I put them on to cook and continued with my other little projects. Before I knew it, there were three children at the table. “Whatcha’ cooking?” “Potato soup for tomorrow’s lunch.” “Oh. It sure smells good.” In that moment, I felt like I’d received the ultimate compliment again.