Lemon Peel

I woke up at 3 A.M.  Found an online,  chat-room for depressed people.  It was old school—scrolling lines of people’s chatter.  Once in a while someone would say, I am so sad.  Or I’m afraid of the future.  Or,  I can’t sleep.  I said,  I wrecked my life.

Mrhand said, Me too. I didn’t ask him how he wrecked his life, and he did not ask me. I’m having dinner with someone next week whose last name is Weck.  Earlier in the day, I emailed my husband and told him we were having dinner with Mrs. Wreck.  He corrected me.

Someone  in the chat room asked how old everyone was.  Maybe I was the oldest at 53, but perhaps there was one person that was 60. There were lots of young people, late teens and early twenties. It was easy to dismiss them, except, when I was young my mother was an alcoholic. My stepfather used to beat her, and my sister ran away from home.  Maybe these young people had there reasons.  Still I said,  If you are healthy and have people who love you, enjoy your life. (I am envious of the young. Also, feel stupid for wasting all that time when I was young being depressed.)

Mrhand said, that he had neither (health nor love).  He reconsidered, saying he did have a  couple of people (who loved him).  I said to hang on to that.  Then, I went to bed and slept until 8-8:30.   It helped somehow, talking to depressed people. You would think it would be depressing.

Today, was a pretty good day.  I went to Zumba-Gold, exercise for people ten years older than me, but I worked at it. Managed to break a sweat.  Later, met a retired couple at the movies to see, Toast, an entertaining film, if not exactly stellar. Yes, it made me hungry for toast.  But also for lemon meringue pie.  In the movie, this teenager concocts a perfect pie for his father.  His father wouldn’t touch it. His stepmother accused him of stealing her recipe.

My grandmother made amazing lemon meringue pie. I had at least one taste of her pie. I cannot remember the circumstances or why it was just a taste. She made one for my aunt and cousin, perhaps it was the pan scrapings. Of course she used fresh lemons. Lemon trees grew in Phoenix.  She baked me a pie before she left,  but ended up dropping it. She said she regretted not making me another one. She had the time.

A couple of years later, I canceled a visit.  I know how that feels now.  She lived alone.  She went shopping.  She waited in anticipation, a two-day cancellation notice  I had gotten a kidney infection and had two small children.   Just couldn’t make myself drive to another state. I probably would never see my grandmother again, and I knew it. I heard the disappointment in her voice, and anger.  Sometimes, I blame her for not baking that second pie. Then, figure I wasn’t worth it.

At the movie, my friend didn’t understand that the teen loved his father, even if his father didn’t taste the pie.  Even if he was a bastard. Even if the kid said he hated him. Every child wants his parents to love him/her.  Every child. Even if they are grandparents.  I heard an NPR story that claimed children did well in life according to how much their mother’s loved them.  Perhaps, that’s why I am so depressed. The boy on which the character in the movie was based, grew up to be a famous chef.  The mother, who had died, loved him.   He put lemon peel in his pie.

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