Food can be a lot of things. A memory, a philosophy, a sweater when you’re out in the cold. A meal can be eloquent when there are no words, which is good because for the past week, I’ve found I have few.
We came back early last Sunday, crawling into bed in the wee hours of the morning, exhausted but still buzzing from the amazing weekend we’d had.
About three hours later, Mark went off to work like he always does, and about three hours after that, he called to ask me to come pick him up.
The company had been having a worse year than expected. We knew this, but we’d also been reassured, time and again, that we shouldn’t worry. Any changes that were made wouldn’t affect us. Until they did.
Mark was the last in and, true to the phrase, the first out. We didn’t see it coming at all.
For a week now, a little more, I’ve found myself walking around in a fog. My to-do list is longer than ever, but ticking it off feels like trudging through glue. I’ve wanted to say something… to tell you all how weird it feels to write about our weekend, or our trip, or anything else at all without giving you the bigger picture… or how weird it feels, even now, to say it out loud. To acknowledge that it happened at all. To acknowledge how scared I am… or how hurt.
Even on the good days I’m waiting for a shoe to drop.
I’m worried about the trip we’re set to go on in just over two weeks. I’m worried about the moment our money runs out. I’m worried about the long-term effect all of this could have on our lives… but most of all, I’m worried about the person I love more than anything else in this world.
My heart breaks for the talent he has and the hard work I’ve seen him put in, only to run into something like this. It breaks for even the slightest doubt in his mind about his ability, or the slightest fear he might have that any of this could be his fault. It wants to scream at everyone, just so they’ll understand how unfair it all is, and no one, because it knows that they already do.
I know that, in the end, we’ll be okay. I know that it might even work out for the better. But right now, beyond that, I know very little… and I have very few words.
But I do have zucchini bread with ice cream. And friends and family whose love means more than ever.
So for now, this little bit of comfort food will have to say what I can’t.
1 cup oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups grated zucchini
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat eggs. Add oil, sugar, and vanilla. Stir in zucchini.
Separately, combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, nuts, and cinnamon.
Stir flour mixture into zucchini mixture. Divide batter evenly into two greased and floured (or lined) 5×9 loaf pans.
Bake for 50 minutes to an hour.