“Life is short. Eat dessert first.” Jacques Torres
I love this quote! Doesn’t everybody want dessert before anything else? So what does this mean? Well to me it’s about doing what brings joy. If you query this saying, you’ll most likely get a post on quintessential quotes. Most of this comes from that entry. We love dessert. I think it means to do what you love, whether that be spending time with family and friends, reading a book, going on an adventure or even eating dessert first! We never know when our life will be over. It could be tomorrow, could be next year, could be in many years. That’s why we need to focus on living the way we love to live. I’ve said before that one of the first things that I could taste after the stroke was chocolate and shortly after that, I could taste almonds. Consequently, I try to eat an Almond Joy daily as a reminder of that whole experience. We get a variety pack of candy to give out for Halloween and Matt has me go through the pack looking for the Almond Joys before we hand out the candy. Now before the stroke, I was not a chocolate fan at all. (The post also states that stressed is desserts spelled backwards!)
I’m going to continue on the subject of dessert. My maternal grandfather was a serious person. I doubt anybody would argue with that. He had a saying that we still use today. You may need your Spanish dictionary, but I’ll try to explain it. My grandmother was a fabulous cook and occasionally after a meal, my grandfather would say “me quedó un huequito.'” Huequito is a diminutive of hueco, which is a hole or a hollow. Isn’t that a great visual image? That concept of a hole has stayed with me.
I know many don’t celebrate Christmas for various reasons but I do and want to point out that one of my favorite Christmas songs is one by Amy Grant that was released in the early 90’s. It’s not about Santa or Jesus. It’s called Mary’s Song. Amy Grant has a fabulous voice and lest we get caught up in that, it’s a song that gives Mary’s perspective of the events during her pregnancy. This really speaks to me. I see quite a bit about the fact that we should always be kind because we really don’t know what someone has gone through or is currently going through. This song is a reminder about her perspective and generally a reminder of other’s perspectives on the journey.
I’m going to stay with the song theme here. A musical artist I like is Tom Waits. I have liked him for many years and have followed his work closely. In 1973, his first album came out (I don’t even know if people call them albums anymore) and was called Closing Time. The first song on that album is called Grapefruit Moon. I’m imagining that the title alone conjures a picture for most of us. With that image comes a memory. For years, Tom Waits has used the theme of moons in many songs. Recently he was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There are many interpretations of the meaning of the moons, but for me moons equal mooning. That’s all. Over the last few months my posts or e-mails have been more “generic”. They are not specific to my post-stroke life. I’ve done that intentionally. My favorite line from the song Grapefruit Moon is “and the grapefruit moon, one star shining, can’t turn back the tide”. You’ve heard the saying “you can’t unring a bell!” I think that one line sums the whole thing up for me. Can’t turn back the tide. His second album The Heart of Saturday Night was released in 1974. It contains many great songs including San Diego Serenade. The first line of that song is “I never saw the morning ’til I stayed up all night.” That is a great way to look at the whole stroke journey. For me, it’s important to have memories of pre-stroke life as well as remember the current events of post-stroke life. I started out my post calling it “When pigs fly”, but I realize that for me it’s about the whole picture and that involves being aware of somebody else’s perspective and sometimes that requires us to look at things differently and not just about waiting for the unexpected. (I also thought about calling it “When Hell Freezes Over” but that was used by many U.S. periodicals when the Chicago Cubs won the baseball championship this year. The last World Series they won was 1945!) Yes, the unexpected happens and we cheer that event but it may take a long time and rather than wait for it, we honor the things that are in our life. One of my favorite songs from that Tom Wait’s selection is the song named after the title of the album (Looking For) The Heart of Saturday Night. When Matt and I first got together, I used to listen to this song regularly. It’s more true today than ever before. If you’ve not heard much of his work, start with these two. It’s what the holidays are about — the whole picture (and that may require us to look at things from a different perspective).