My daughter looks forward to the pancakes at Cracker Barrel. Really, she just looks forward to the edges of the pancakes; the crispy browned edges are her favorite. But, when it comes to orange rolls or brownies, it’s the soft inner pieces that are the best.
Grief gives life crispy edges. Edges that are delicate and break easily. Edges that call to you at times. I prefer to live in the warm, protected center of life. That’s where my family is the safest and the happiest. That is where I search for my value and my worth. But, there are times, that I must venture out to the edges and taste the bittersweetness that comes with memories. Fragile memories that still have the power to break my heart. Precious memories that fade a little with time, but still stir up so many emotions when unwrapped.
Today is a day for the edges. Thirty years ago on this day, I became Mrs. Terry Benson. We set out on the adventure of life together. I see people talk about marrying their best friend and can’t help but wonder how they define friendship. Terry was indeed my best friend. We did everything together. We had one car for most of our marriage, so he drove me to work each morning and picked me up each afternoon. He packed my lunch for me. When the time came, he was a stay at home dad for our kids. He never complained about me to my family. He was only complimentary. He didn’t call me rude names behind my back. He was always uplifting and protective of me. He loved my family and never criticized my relationship with them. Even when things were rough with his own family, he never said unkind or mean things about them. There were many times that we disagreed and fought. And we always came to an agreement and forgave. Our marriage was more important that either of us as individuals.
So for today, I venture out to the edges that are crisp and full of memories. Today, I will savor the memories of the love of my early life, the father of my children. I know that these memories don’t diminish the love I have now for Tim. My past has prepared me to love him even more deeply. The edges remind me how fragile life and love can be. I know that I want to protect the soft center where my life and love currently exist.
Sometimes crispy edges are what we need. And, sometimes its the soft center that we desire. Life is made up of both.