FORTY years. It means so much more to me now.
Now that I've lived a full life and yet have only been on the Earth for 31 years.
Now that I've been married 6 long years myself ;)
Now that we came so close to losing my dad this year.
On their 40th wedding anniversary, I was able to road trip to their "healing house" for an overnight visit. I can't quite put a finger on the magic mojo that is so present in my parents' marriage: Their faith, their humor, their interests... all of those and something else. Something peaceful and content and full of understanding.
To celebrate the day, I cooked a nice lunch consisting of shrimp w/cocktail sauce, tomato & mozzarella salad, chicken gnocchi soup, and best of all... FORTY gingerbread cookies :)
I'd never made gingerbread until this Christmas*. Since then, it's been the ONLY food my dad has asked for and enjoyed eating. So, I've made 3 batches of these cookies, trying to help him gain weight and strength as he settles into his new life as a walking miracle, a man who survived acute myeloid leukemia!
Very soon, my parents will be able to shed their Cleveland tether (my dad has had to be within an hour of the Cleveland Clinic for 100 days since his stem cell transplant). They're looking forward to returning home, but they're also sad to leave their healing house... can't blame them:
*Here's the delicious gingerbread cookie recipe I've been using. I follow it to a tee and they are PERFECT! We eat them plain, but my dad and I both prefer a nice crusty icing consisting of powdered sugar, vanilla & milk.