My first ingredient that came to mind was very tasty food. I have a huge appreciation for flavors, fresh herbs, and deliciousness. I am an amazing cook.......mostly because Zen said he wasn't going to cook - so someone had to - and also, spending as much time in the hospital as we did with hunter, all I ever had on in the background was the cooking channel. So I learned a TON. My cooking has been put on hold for the last few months just because I wanted to spend every last, possible moment with Hunter that I could, and cooking good food takes time. And I also just didn't have any desire or ambition to do anything in the kitchen once Hunter passed. So I started today with making my delicious Soy Chorizo Lasagna and ate a bunch for lunch. So yay......my kitchen desires are slowly coming back. And good food makes for a much happier home.
My second ingredient that immediately surfaces is laughter. I really don't know what I would do without it. Zen and I laugh so much, whether it's at each other, at ourselves or at a comedy that we have on.........and we have several on hand. Seinfeld will always remain a favorite, but we also have a whole other list of favorites marked for rainy days. Zen and I crack each other up and it just seems to keep getting better. We know each other so well now. Living in the hospital with Hunter for the past 2 1/2 years was like living in a college dorm room. And not many couples could survive that - somehow, it just worked out for us and brought us closer. We both realize the importance of laughter and also both enjoy laughing. So we will continue to have it as a major ingredient in our every day life. It's as important as salt and pepper.
The third ingredient would be tears. I am still feeling the overwhelming amounts of sadness from Hunter's departure. Usually when the tears start flowing he is heavy on my mind. For now, it's remaining a painful comfort. It seems to be when I feel his presence the most and enjoy acknowledging his life. I don't ever want to get to the point where I don't think about him. But I do know that better days are coming where so many moments won't bring me to such an unbearable heartache. But for now, I feel as if crying is necessary. And Zen and I definitely both do our fair share of crying........and are always there to help wipe each other's tears.
The fourth ingredient would be love and understanding.....I think without those, it would be hard for Zen and I to get through our days. We are always extremely honest with each other and I always know that when I am crashing and burning.......he's there for me - without a doubt and without question. I think we have a huge benefit in this healing process in that we are grieving in similar ways. We don't hide our tears, they come when they come and we do our best to help each other through each and every moment. We have a full understanding by now of what to expect and what the next few years of our life are going to be like. We both miss Hunter so much.........he was an amazing child. He was our strongest life force. Every morning when he woke, Zen and I would race upstairs to greet him with love and smiles and that was how we loved to start our days. Seeing him. Hugging him. Bringing him where ever he wanted to go and oh so pleased to do so. We all loved each other, we all understood each other and we all survived better with one another there, as a constant comfort. We blanketed each other with love.
My fifth ingredient would be a combination of determination, courage and perseverance. Hunter has changed our lives, he's adjusted our attitudes and he's given us more important reasons to live. We have such purpose now and it's coupled with such appreciation and gratitude. We truly feel fulfilled and blessed and fortunate. However, Hunter's death is not what we wanted and we are forever devastated, but we are so much stronger and our love is much more solid and what we have to offer is that much more amazing. Everything about us now is sprinkled with Hunter's love and sunshine and his brilliant spirit and smile. Now we just have to have the determination and courage and perseverance to go through this life without him no longer by our side. We must go on.......we need to go on.........and we will go on.
The sixth ingredient is children. What a wonderful, wonderful blessing. Our lives were so completely enhanced with Hunter in them. He was what kept us going. We lived each day for him, for us and for the pure enjoyment of living life. We want a full family and are doing our best to create one. We are looking forward to the days of a noisy home, packing lunches, going to sporting events and hanging out at zoo's and beaches and zippin' down the slides. We cannot WAIT for those precious moments to fill our days, our hearts and our home.
The seventh ingredient that comes to mind is Hunter. He is an essential part of the mix now, and without having experienced him, we wouldn't be as strong, we wouldn't be as appreciative and we wouldn't be as complete. He will always remain an important part of our life and he will always be present in our hearts. The intensity with which we love now will fill our bodies with an immeasurable amount of pleasure and delight. And we will carry it with us where ever we go. We have no idea what our future has in store for us, but we do know that our past has been exceptionally rewarding........in so many beautiful and encouraging ways.
So I know I can think of more ingredients.......but those that I have mentioned seem to be the "must haves" in our dish of life. I am going to mix them all up into one big pot and serve it up every single day that we are blessed enough to live this life. Dig in, eat up and swallow it down with a smile.