Wednesday, September 3, 2008

6 years.

Disclaimer: My favoritest blogs are ones that I feel like I have a friend on the other side of the Internet in addition to all of their pretty food pictures, stories and recipes. These are the ones that keep me coming back time and time again as I wonder how people are doing, even though I've clearly never met or spoken to most. While I do still prefer to keep this blog semi-anonymous for practical reasons and I have occassionally written a non-food post, I was recently inspired by a recent posting from one of my favorite bloggers to share something a little more than food adventures. If you are here just for the food, please forgive my intrusion and skip today's post. I'll have a recipe for you shortly :) Otherwise, I'd like to share a very important part of my life in the words forthcoming and part of my motivation for cooking.

It's September. It's the start of fall (proof offered by the arrival of pumpkin loaf and lattes in Starbucks today) and the beginning of the gorgeous months in San Francisco. For many, it's the start of school. And for me, while I clearly not starting a new school year, it marks a very important day of the year.

Six years ago on the first day of the new school year, my brother was killed in a car accident. I remember that day like it was yesterday, but it's been a long, empty six years without my best friend. I miss him like none other.

By no means do I want to use this to recount all of the memories of my brother; there are entirely too many and I think I already have plans to share some of the best in a later post. Sure, there are the fights over who got the bigger or better < insert childhood toy or food here > and finger pointing to say "I didn't do it; he/she did!" But what childhood would be complete without those? I remember always thinking I couldn't imagine having a best friend as part of the family. I felt pretty darn lucky.

The summer between my freshman year and sophomore year of college was our last summer together. At the time, my family had relocated to a different part of the country from where I grew up, so I knew few people. That summer was devoted to knocking a couple of courses out at the local college, spending time with my brother, and my first forays into cooking.

He was a fantastic swimmer, a true delight to watch, and when he wasn't eating, sleeping, or geeking out, he was in the pool that summer. While he's no Michael Phelps and certainly didn't consume 12,000 calories a day, he WAS a growing boy and those numerous swim practices a day certainly worked up an appetite. His willingness to eat just about anything put before him and his trademark smile and appreciation when it was something new and delicious motivated me to experiment in the kitchen and really learn how to cook. It diminished the feeling of failure when something doesn't turn out that great that I still had someone willing to fork down the food; it must not have been that bad after all! I can't imagine how different things would be without that jump start into cooking.

One of the last memories I have of my brother was a meal, just the two of us, of Pho. He even paid. So today, I had pho for lunch and the smell brought a small smile to my face when I reminisce about our last dinner. Perhaps, I'll one day learn to make my own pho in his memory.


LL said...

This made me cry. I remember him too and always think of you around this time. He's still remembered by so many others as well. The phrase "virtual hug" always kind of annoys me, but it really is what I'm sending you!

Anita said...

Thanks for sharing - this was very touchingly written and a wonderful tribute to your brother. I'm sorry you and family had to suffer this tragedy.
I agree with you that my favorite blogs are ones with a distinct voice, that make me feel like I'm listening to a real person talk and not just reading a cookbook. I've had my own internal debates about how much of myself to "reveal" on my site - I think we all have our comfort levels - but I certainly do appreciate your sharing this important part of you, and now, I feel like I've made a stronger connection with you, which I hope helps you, a little!

Meg said...

ditto what LL said. I actually thought of you and your family the other week when i drove past the nearby high school durng the first week of classes. makes me treasure every moment i have with my own brother.

btw, i'm sure you're like who is this?! but i just found your blog from one of your comments on LL's and thought i'd check it out to make sure it was you. :)

another K-town friend of mine has a food blog called Apron Adventures...i bet you would enjoy keeping up with each other. she's linked to my blog

i hope things are going well in SF!