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Summer 2017:

The next best thing to heaven.
So sweet and juicy, the best ones are firm, yet dribble scrumptious goodness down your chin.

Not any more. 
I haven't had a peach since the summer of 2015.

Nathanael is sporting the red flannel shirt and bandanna - that's another story!!

Every summer, our kids would go detassling in the cornfields. All four of them, even my daughter. It was the quickest and the best way to earn money. What's not to like? Scorching hot sun, deep, painful sunburns, in spite of the SPF lotion applied,  cornstalks scratching your skin as you walk through the rows, maybe a rash or two. Early morning hours, where the dew soaks your clothing head to toe, and maybe even a few days of ankle deep mud to wade through. Not knowing when you could use a real bathroom, or stop to rest. Fun? You ask? Not in my opinion! 

But for them, it was the best years of their life! Hanging out with friends all day, making new friends, and having a ball being miserable together! Misery does love company, right? So, they went day after day, year after year. It was the highlight of the summer. Well, and the "after it was all over" parties!

What does that have to do with peaches?

Mom's job was to make sure they knew how to shop for food. "Don't waste money by getting a sandwich at the store during lunch. Make a trip to the grocery store before it starts. Get the biggest package of  everything you need to make your own lunches."  But since I'm the mom, I always made sure there were some foods they could take that I bought for them, too. Since I already liked to freeze and can peaches, whenever the best Georgia peaches came out I would buy two crates. One for preserves, and one for them. 

Except, there became a problem. I never seemed to have enough for preserves? Peaches were their favorite treat during those sticky hot summer days! They disappeared,  like hotcakes! So, the last couple years I gave up on preserves and bought two crates anyway, just to make sure I could eat a few. :)

But all that has changed now. 
The fall of 2015 was a year of many changes. 
We became a house of almost empty nest-ers by all the wrong reasons. 
A parent should never have to bury a child. 
Especially not - one month after our daughter was married.
Not after I haven't even had time to breathe from having to bury my brother.
Not after I just buried my father. 
Not after I just quit my job. 
Not after I just began finding out how incredibly sick I am, and will not be getting better.  
Not after my youngest just moved out.

I can write this now, only because I have survived the worst. Life will never be normal again. It still hurts like hell every day. I wouldn't even look at peaches last year. Just shopping in the store was cause for running back to the car before the tears drenched my face again. 

But I was brave and bought just a few the other day. Wondering if I could ever enjoy them again. How did I do? Nothing is the same. Even in good things, it is tinged with sorrow. Pain. Sadness. Dull. I think I had a delicious peach today? It was all of the characteristics of a gloriously yummy peach. But that's not how I tasted it. 

We can learn a lot from fiction. Sometimes it teaches us the very thing that God has been saying all along, but we aren't listening. One of my son's favorite movie series, which I also enjoy, was The Dark Knight trilogy. 
Alfred, Bruce Wayne's butler gives the best advice:

"Bruce: What have I done, Alfred? Everything my family… my father built…
Alfred: The Wayne legacy is more than bricks and mortar, sir.
Bruce: I wanted to save Gotham. I failed.
Alfred: Why do we fall sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.
Bruce: You still haven’t given up on me.
Alfred: Never."                                                            - from The Dark Knight

(Summer 2018:
I haven't given up on peaches yet.
This summer, I tried again.
The sweetness was enjoyed with the hint of a smile, but then, a deep sigh.)

 ↝ Stories from the journey of my life ↜ written by: Sue Leerhoff ↝  follow me on my Facebook page ↜ - Brick by Brick


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