Joe loved food. I mean, he REALLY loved it. I think maybe food was his love language—the one Gary Chapman forgot to mention in his book. (See The Five Love Languages). His favorite food was probably pie. He liked all kinds of pie (see Harold and the Purple Crayon), but especially apple. He often asked me or one of his sisters to make him an apple pie, and we were always happy to oblige him. (Oh! If you haven’t read How to Bake an Apple Pie and see the World, you should check it out).
I wonder why I keep mentioning books. (And using parentheses). Anyway…
Guess what Joe’s last real food was.
Yep: apple pie. My sweet friend and neighbor Tami baked one for him about a week before he passed away, when he was still able to eat. You should have seen him push his dinner plate aside and his eyes light up when I brought it into his room. It was a wonderful gift from Tami for which I will always be grateful.
I sometimes wonder if I should have done anything differently in my caring for Joe. I read so much about nutrition after his cancer diagnosis, and there was SO much conflicting advice! For a long while we juiced fresh organic vegetables and fruits, cut out sugar almost completely (except for certain fruits), and cut back on red meat and dairy. Joe didn’t like the limitations, but went along with them for my sake. He was of the opinion that it doesn’t matter how long you live, as long as you live well and enjoy the life you’ve been given. That means different things to different people, but to Joe it meant, among other things, eating what you like. So eventually we eased up on the restrictions. And he was happy.
So I ask myself: should I have insisted on healthier eating right up until the end? Would that have made a difference in the length of his life? On the other hand, should I have backed off earlier and provided whatever he felt like eating all during his cancer journey, so that he might have enjoyed life more?
I really don’t torture myself with these questions very much, because I believe strongly in the sovereignty of God. It’s more of a philosophical pondering than a mental torment. Food for thought.
Yeah, I see what I did there.