Sunday, December 30, 2018

Returning to where it all began

Not-so-mystic pizza
Montreal, QC
December 2018
This photo originally shared on Instagram
This may look like an ordinary personal-size cheese-and-green-olive pizza, and under normal circumstances you would be correct. But I've never been remotely normal, and we live in extraordinary circumstances these days. So as you've likely guessed, this is a special pie.

We came here after a challenging day at the hospital. Beyond Deb's dad's up-and-mostly-down challenges with his health, we grapple with the harder questions of what lies further down the road. She's carrying a lot of weight on her shoulders, and I'm not sure I know how to ease it.

I thought pizza might help. But not just any pizza. Tasty Food pizza, the place where we had our first date. I was 17, she was 16, and I was terrified of making the wrong first impression. Pizza seemed like the safest first-date choice.

In the ensuing 34 years, it's moved across the street, and the photos on the wall have faded a bit, but it still felt familiar as we walked in from the icy cold.

Older, wiser me no longer needed to search for the right word, or worry about a stray olive skittering across the table. I clearly won her heart on that first date, and she clearly won mine. But I still felt reflective, apprehensive even, as we munched and broke down the day that was.

I found myself wishing we could return to that sweet, gauzy time when everything was potential and mortality was a mere word in a dictionary. But we all know life doesn't work that way. Still, even a brief return to where it all began was all we needed in the midst of this particular chapter.

Like I said, more than just a pizza.

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