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Love, Compassion & Pimento Cheese Sandwiches

I was at my parents’ house this weekend, along with my youngest brother and his family and my sister and her family.  After church on Sunday, there was a rush to the kitchen to get children fed – all seven of my parents’ grandchildren, four of whom are under the age of four.  PB&J’s, hot dogs, tortillas and melted cheese — we quickly had seven hungry children sitting at the table to eat.  Then it was the adults’ turn.  I dug around my mother’s fridge and came up with a container of pimento cheese.

I love that stuff.  I made some a few months ago and have been meaning to post the recipe.  I just haven’t got around to it yet.  I spread some on some whole wheat bread, took a bite, and was immediately transported back to over seven years ago.

In October 2003, I had my tonsils removed.  It was a horrible recovery.  Going into it, if I’d known how much pain I’d be in, I might have just suffered from being sick for the rest of my life.  Gregg had his tonsils removed as a teenager, so he knew.  He knew what the recovery would be like, and he was prepared.

He had our fridge stocked with pimento cheese and the freezer stocked with rainbow sherbet.

We had discussed and determined that we would both quit smoking that day.  The last cigarette either one of us ever smoked was on the drive to the hospital that morning.  We had also determined that we would change the way we ate – we had listened to Christian dietitians discuss the health merits of a Levitical diet, had read The Maker’s Diet, and looked at our lifestyle and decided that we wanted to be together on earth, in love, married, friends, and companions for as long as possible.  We wanted children and we wanted to be alive and healthy to enjoy our grandchildren.  So, we made changes.  We quit smoking, we quit eating crap, and we started living right.

So Gregg not only had to contend with his own nicotine battles, he had to contend with a wife in serious pain, who became a major roaring [expletive] while battling her own nicotine/Coca Cola withdraws.

Gregg was amazing.  He would come into the room with a tray that had ice water, medicine, pimento cheese sandwiches, and bowls of sherbet and would talk me down out of whatever gripe/panic attack/mood happened to be hitting me at the time.  And he did that for days, all while taking care of Kaylee, too.  I think I was in bed for four days – maybe five.  He soothed me, sang to me, massaged my back, made me laugh, watched movies with me, and talked me down from giving in to the cravings for days.  And he fed me my weight in pimento cheese and rainbow sherbet.  Those were the only two things I could eat.

I would never ever have been able to do it without him.  Despair would have won and I’d likely be smoking and washing down the cigarette with an ice cold Coca Cola today.  But with him at my side, holding my hand, wiping my brow, I persevered and made it.  I doubt my recovery and withdraw did absolutely anything to help him – yet he persevered as well.  I admire him for that.  If I’d been my husband, I’d have bought a carton of cigarettes and shoved them down my throat if I’d have had to deal with me while also trying to handle my own cravings.

For some reason, biting into that sandwich just transported me back to lying in that bed, Gregg at my side, holding his hand, watching some silly movie while he took care of me, comforted me, and put me WAY ahead of himself.  He treated me as Christ treated the church, a servant as when He washed His disciples’ feet.  He loved me as Christ loves His church, sacrificially and unconditionally.

I am totally loved by my husband.  And I love my husband totally.

 

Hallee


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