In unusual circumstances, my son learned the value of following these truisms.
Although we knew that it could happen at any time, the death of my elderly mother was still a shock.
Since her apartment was paid to the end of the month and still full of her belongings, my two sons attending a post-secondary school close by stayed there, in turn.
These two sons, only one year apart, had long differentiated their personalities. One was social and gregarious, the other an introvert who craved silence before talking incessantly to family members. Their personality differences only served to accentuated their experiences during the cheese adventure at grandma’s empty home.
Social Son spent two weeks at grandma’s home, cramming the writing and editing of a semester’s worth of papers. He bought food to eat sporadically and cleaned up even less so. He enjoyed the quiet away from our distracting house of people and activities to stay focused on the long-procrastinated task. So, after finishing, he suggested his brother spent time there before we moved grandma’s belongings out. ‘Consider it your first adventure in living alone,’ he encouraged him.
Off went Son Two, insisting he’d only be there overnight. Strange to be in grandma’s home without grandma. Stranger to sleep in her bed instead of sleeping on the couch. Strangest to decide what to cook or eat. Well, who wants to cook so, he reasoned, just eat whatever his brother left behind.
Returning home the next day, he was glassy-eyed and sickly, rambling about experiencing hallucinations, seeing strange figures moving at night.
Not only had Social Son neglected to discard the weeks old cheese left behind by grandma in her fridge, but, he forgot to tell his brother not eat it.
Son two, hyped or distracted by his experience of staying in his beloved grandma’s home without her, forgot to remember my oft-stated food motto: When in doubt, throw it out.
Whether it was this less than appetizing meal, or the tension of grief that overwhelmed him there, he experienced unforgettable memories of his final night staying at his grandma’s house.
Around our house this oft-remembered event is an embarrassing tease to one certain family member. But, it makes us all never question the saying -when in doubt, throw that food out!