I stuffed myself with more fajitas than I should have eaten, really- but only because I had put chopped avocado in the fajitas I custom designed, and I just can't say no to avocado or anything that has avocado in it. Sprinkle salt and pepper on a half a ripe avocado and eat it right out of the skin. Delicious.
I never eat an avocado without thinking of my Dad. Never. He was the one who introduced me to the taste of avocado- as well as to any other interesting, exotic, foreign flavor. Dad would be eating an avocado with a spoon and glancing over at me (well, glancing down at me, because I was little) and he would purse his lips and murmur how delicious it was and how I could not have any avocado.
But maybe someday I might be able to taste it, he would add. Someday. And so one day after he thought I had waited long enough, had longed for it long enough (because that was what he was trying to do- get me to long for something I wouldn't have normally longed for), he gave me a taste of it. And of course, I loved it. Mission accomplished.
So tonight, like several nights a week, I ate half an avocado, thought of my Dad, remembered how he wanted to always introduce me to the best and brightest of flavors and experiences. He still wants me to have the best of experiences. I thought of him tonight, and I thought of how he was trying so hard to be tender and caring with my Mom the other day.
Mom's not doing too well. It's getting bad again- the depression, her desire to stay in bed, the fear. I didn't handle it well. I had gone over for a visit and tried to get my Mom to enjoy the new clothes we had bought her: soft, pastel cotton tops, comfortable velour sweat pants, a sweater with pockets for her tissues. But that kind of comfort and beauty wasn't going to meet her need that day.
Dad was patient. He tried to talk to her and get her to accept our love, our help, our interest in trying to make things nicer for her. We wanted her to come for a drive with us, and get a bite to eat. She wanted to stay in bed. She wanted to sleep and let the world fade away- let whatever was bothering her fade into dreamland. She closed her eyes and took her nap. We took a deep breath...and went out for a quick lunch. And the world went on. I came home. Went to sleep. Got up today. Went about my day. Enjoyed the sunlight. Ate an avocado tonight.
This has been a long journey. Our whole family is on an interesting bumpy, uphill, sometimes downhill journey. It's a long journey spiced with good memories and sometimes sad ones, and flavored with love, salty tears, trying times, special times, and yes, the wonderful taste of avocado.