Sunday, January 3, 2016

Letting Go of the Waffle

Hello, long time no write, I know. It's been two years since my last post. There are a number of reasons, but I'll spare you. My heart and soul has urged me to write for awhile, and I resisted. I am finally giving in to their urging. I just hope you find it worthwhile to read. Thank you for reading in the past.

One of my first memories of waffles are those my mom made on Sunday mornings. Mom took great care making our waffle breakfast, mixing the ingredients until just blended then folding in the beaten-stiff egg whites. The waffles came out fluffy and I loved them, because I loved my mom. I loved those Sunday mornings when my family sat down together for a meal, talked and enjoyed each other’s company. Those times are fond memories.

Since my mom died, I hadn’t enjoyed homemade waffles until three years ago. Nor has a waffle breakfast meant as much until someone else I loved made them for me on Sunday mornings. The waffles were simple, a recipe on the back of a Bisquick box, yet tasted incredibly delicious. With a few slices of bacon, scrambled eggs, and a waffle topped with butter and syrup, adding a cup of Starbucks coffee or hot tea along with a side dish of meaningful and intellectually stimulating conversation, I enjoyed the togetherness of my favorite meal of the day. My heart warmed once again with the fond moments shared with my loved one.

Just as the togetherness of family waffle breakfasts ended, so ended my recent experiences of Sunday morning waffles. Since the end of July, I have felt out of sort with loneliness every other weekend, and I missed those waffle breakfasts. I decided to tackle the overwhelming sense of emptiness by making Sunday morning waffles myself. I buy a waffle maker and a box of Bisquick. The smell of bacon and Starbuck’s coffee wafts through the air, triggering within me a sense of comforting familiarity. The waffle iron heated, I prepare the waffle mix, making my own waffle while eggs scrambled nearby. I sit down at the table with a waffle dressed in butter and syrup, bacon to its left and eggs to its right, ready to savor the joy of a breakfast I’ve missed. I take one bite, and the letdown takes over. My waffle doesn’t taste the same, lacking something, but what? I used Bisquick, and the same recipe on the side of the box, so what happened? I try it again the next weekend, and once again, my waffle experience disappoints, leaving me feeling unfulfilled.

I decide to try another strategy, picking up a box of actual waffle mix with the hope of yielding a more palatable experience. Once again, my anticipation is let down as the breakfast leaves little to be desired. Wait! I remember I had my mom’s cookbook, contained within it the very waffle recipe she used. I gather what I need, carefully following the recipe to the nth degree. Ever hopeful, I sit down to the waffle breakfast I cherished in the long ago past, as well as the ones more recently. I cut a piece of the waffle dressed in butter and syrup and bring it to my mouth. I chew in anticipation of that warm and fuzzy feeling I have missed over the last twenty weeks; that both my mouth and heart long to experience once again. I chew. I wait for that familiar feeling. While the waffle was the best waffle I had made thus far, it isn’t the waffle I sought.

In that moment I realized the missing ingredient was the company I loved when eating the waffle. The flavor of togetherness seasoned my Sunday morning breakfasts. It added to the meal which was a beautiful way to start my day, to end the weekend, and to start my week. What I was seeking was the company I loved and enjoyed while eating the waffle on Sunday mornings.

Upon this realization, I knew it is time for me to let go of the waffle. It only wanted to be my breakfast every other weekend; and only then because I filled a void on weekends when others weren’t around to enjoy it. This understanding reminded me why I chose to end my three-year relationship. I just never realized that doing so would make a waffle taste so heartbreakingly different.

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