Indian Food and Chandler's Pants
My friend Cathy took me to lunch today for my birthday. Our schedules just didn’t coordinate for July and August, so I’m all for extending the celebration into September. In discussing where we wanted to eat (both of us are adventurous foodies), she threw out Thai or Indian food. Then she said, “Let’s go Indian. Chandler loved both foods, but I know he loved his India experience. We can honor him.”
When Chandler came back from India raving about how much he loved the food, I attempted somewhat successfully to make Indian dishes like dal and curry chicken. One holiday, I don’t remember if it was Thanksgiving or my birthday, Chandler said how much he appreciated me making Indian food for him. On second thought, maybe he said “trying” to make Indian food. He was being gracious.
Everything on today’s lunch menu at The Clay Oven looked delicious. We ordered three meals cuz, why not. Three meals. The third in honor of the young man who inspired us to go with Indian cuisine.
When the food was served, it covered most of the table. Every bite of each new dish was followed by a mouth-full version of, “Mmmmmm…that is so good.”
Amidst the tasting and savoring and mmmmm-ing, I said, “If Chandler were here, he would be in heaven…….actually, he is in heaven.”
When I got home, I was hit between the eyes with the reality of that statement. A pair of black slacks and a pair of Lucky jeans were on the pool table. Chip said, “I think those are Chandler’s. I found them in the garage.”
I picked them up and folded them, buried my head in the jeans hoping to smell Chandler. They just smelled like jeans. The slacks offered no scent of my son either.
There is something surreal about holding Chandler’s belongings and knowing he will never touch them again. Never need them. It was surreal today when I mentioned something that had happened, “After Chandler died.” It catches me off guard every time I say it. Like somehow every time I utter those words, it makes it more final.
This is what it looks like. There’s no way to anticipate exactly what a day will be. You just ride the waves the best you can and catch your breath when they subside.
Other than a kitchen sink pipe breaking leaving us sinkless until Monday, the day ended well. More about that next week.
God, thank you for time with my friend today over the food that Chandler loved. Thank you for Chandler’s India adventures — a highlight of his short life. Thank you that I don’t have to ride these waves alone. Amen.