Pommes Frites

Pomme frites

After brunch yesterday, my daughter and my younger son went to see the 3D version of Avatar; my husband and I joined what Andrew used to call my Ammassociates, my Amma friends.
One of Amma’s Swami had just returned from Haiti and, on his way to India, he stopped in New York to give a first hand account of the situation there. Amma’s organization, which has UN consultative status, had already been sending medicines from the Californian Ashram, now it will be sending volunteers and more supplies.
The gathering afforded us a blissful opportunity for quiet meditation, and it ended with a prayer for Peace for all Beings.
When we left, both Hugh and I felt a bit lighter in our hearts. On our way to rejoin the children we stopped at Pommes Frites, the place that I believe my son went to at 1:30 on the night he died. We bought a medium-sized portion with the Mango chutney mayo dip. Hugh and I sat in the car while we ate them. Andrew was right to like those chips, they were really good.
When we finished eating, the car smelling of chips, we drove to Florentina’s apartment.
“How did you like the movie?” we asked.
“It’s a lovely movie, and with such a beautiful message,” said Florentina.
“And what about you Robert, did you enjoy seeing it a second time?”
“Yes, and in 3D it is so much better.” 

We chatted for a while, and as we always end up doing, we talked about Andrew. It became clear that we all feel a sense of unreality about his death. The truth is, we haven’t accepted it, we cannot believe that he is actually dead.
For me, he is alive. When I think of him (which is always) I think that he is alive, I feel that he is alive. But I can’t see him, hug him, talk to him, cook for him. It is a conflict between the heart and the intellect; the first knows, the second, lacking extra-sensory perception, needs to see and because it can’t see, it wages a raging war.
Maybe that is what grieving is about.
Whatever it is, it is real, and constant.
As for Andrew, I only have love for him, and the unbearable longing to put my arms around him and tell him that all is well.

4 thoughts on “Pommes Frites

  1. reading your posts ignite little snippets of memories… I love talking and writing about Kerry.

    with regard to food, and Kerry…

    There is a very small, casual french restaurant, on Greenwich Avenue called Meli-Melo. It is run by a lovely husband and wife team. They have 2 daughters, both of whom I taught when they were very young. It’s always busy here and the seating is uncomfortably tight, but none of this matters because the atmosphere screams “happy.” They serve homemade soups, bread, crepes, sorbets, and ice cream. My favorite is a buckwheat crepe stuffed with ham, gruyere cheese, and asparagus – then topped with mixed greens and a fabulous champagne dressing. “Fancy Pancakes,” Kerry would call them. Shortly after Kerry passed, I spent the afternoon shopping with my daughter. I wanted her to have 100% of my attention. I was anxious to end the day with “feel good food.” I had not dined out since Kerry passed. She, the wife, greeted us with a smile, double kiss and a warm hug. She marveled at how my daughter had grown and how beautiful she was, and then, asked about Kerry. I could not find the strength to tell her he had died and I did not want to shift the focus away from my daughter so I answered her as simply as I could, “he’s fine, thank you for asking.” For the first time that day I relaxed, we both relaxed, and thoroughly enjoyed our “feel good” meal.

    It’s been 7 years since Kerry passed, but at the “fancy pancake place,” he’s alive and well. I try not to give too much detail, only answering the questions put in front of me. “Yes, he turned 30 this year – amazing how quickly time fly’s,” “Yes, we still work together,” “Yes, he so enjoys watching his son grow.”

    Kerry is alive and well at the crepe place, the place that screams “HAPPY.”

  2. EVERYONE who reads this learns that there are so many nuances to both the good and the bad that happen over a lifetime. One does not have to Know you to Get you…Keep sharing these beautiful observations.. Your admirer and friend ..DT

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