I used to cook

I used to cook...

You wouldn't know it from looking in my grocery cart today. In place of ingredients for homemade meals has become frozen dinners, take out and the occasional bowl of cereal.

But I've been known to make homemade sauce letting it simmer for a couple hours to fill the the lasagna. I've let the ribs marinate for 8 hours.  I would search the Internet for new and tasty recipes. I would plan a monthly menu making new things every night. Our meals would include penne rustica, kung pao chicken, chicken tortilla soup, meatloaf, parmesean chicken and enchiladas. My grocery cart used to be filled with ingredients for great family meals but now frozen dinners fill the cart. I used to cook.

I used to make pancakes, French toast casseroles and waffles for breakfast. I would bake blondies, scones, oatmeal cookies, and other baked desserts.

I used to cook. Its just been a hard year. So instead of homemade it's been takeout, frozen meals and cereal for dinner. And it hurts so much that I used to cook. Because it represents so many other things I used to do that I don't do anymore.

When a loved one is diagnosed with cancer so many things change. And it's a long road. It's a difficult road. It is a road filled with many "I used to do...." Because my husband has thankfully responded so well to treatment, besides his bald head, no one would know just by looking at him that he's had to endure 6 going on 7 cycles of chemo. No one could tell looking at us while we are at the zoo together as a family that Mel has been separated from the kids for over 150 days this year. No one could tell that the snacks I bought this weekend weren't for lunches during the week but are snacks for Mel while he is in the hospital. While I am out and about with the kids by myself the next 15 days people would probably assume my husband was at home or work, no one would know he's in the hospital. No one would be able to tell just by looking at the smiling pictures I post that our heart is shattered and in so much pain.

And no one can tell by looking in my grocery cart that I used to cook.