Thursday, November 6, 2014

Of All Things! ~ Chicken Noodle-Loos

Of all things, you wouldn't think a midnight snack would bring on a rush of memories and emotions! Hungry from working on a late-night project, I went to the fridge and saw that Sonja had made one of Emily's favorite meals: "Chicken Noodle-Loos." It didn't hit me until after I took the first bite. I could see her enjoying every spoonful.

Emily was a celebrator. She celebrated little things with hand-clapping, kissing, and shouts of joy. When Sonja would serve her up a bowl of "Chicken Noodle-Loos" (as Emily called it), she would visibly be thrilled and could hardly contain herself.

I often think of lessons Emily taught us -- to celebrate often is one of those lessons: celebrate people, celebrate food, celebrate animals, celebrate music, celebrate birthdays. Oh, she would celebrate birthdays for weeks -- until someone else had a birthday. My birthday is November 2, and she would tell me "Hap-Birday, Dah-ee" every day until December 5, which is Sonja's birthday! Then Sonja would get the daily "Hap-Birday" until the Christmas season gave Emily something else to celebrate.

She taught us to celebrate life, despite its trials, confusion, and pain. The blessings God grants us by far surpass anything that might bring sorrow. So, as I eat another bite, I swallow hard to get it past the lump in my throat. I miss her, and the missing hurts. But I will carry on just as she did every day, with a smile and an eye to look for something to celebrate. Even if it's just another bite of "Chicken Noodle-Loos."