Monday, December 21, 2009

Turkey Soup for My Soul

My greatest honor to date was making turkey soup for my dying friend Margot. The miracle of soup never fails to amaze me. Throw some old bones into water with a few root vegetables, and a few hours later you have liquid gold. A preview taste of the broth brought a delighted smile to Margot's face and joy to my heart.

All the emotion of the entire weekend was contained in the moment that I, with a lump in my throat, and tears brimming over, tenderly placed a bowl of that soup before her. She took a warm, nourishing spoonful and, in a way only Margot can, wrinkled her nose - no, her entire face - and asked "Is there anything green in this?" Of course! Margot doesn't eat anything that doesn't have spinach or arugula in it. When she lived in Tucson, she had a veritable arugula forest growing in her backyard, just for this purpose.

This memory had flitted through my brain while I was preparing my family's traditional post Thanksgiving meal, but even under these circumstances I was unwilling to change the recipe. Spinach belongs in red soup, not yellow! I had plans to personalize Margot's serving to what I knew her taste to be, but the household greens supply was too well hidden behind the avalanche of holiday leftovers for me to find. Soon thereafter, I became lost in the task of skimming the soup. Later, a second tour of the refrigerator yielded what the first did not. Fresh organic spinach. All was right with the world then, oddly, when in reality, there was nothing right at all in my life. How is it that a visit to a dying friend can be so utterly restorative for me? I was and will always be humbled by the quiet moments I spent with her during Thanksgiving 2009.

Thank you, Margot. I love you!

Margot died peacefully in her home Saturday afternoon (December 26), surrounded by her loved ones.