Archive for category Sad Stories

A Mourning for Chicken Soup

She woke to the twittering of early morning birds. Stretching, she cursed the cold air for making the birds seem so bloody loud. Oh well. Time to get up anyway.  Into the kitchen to turn on the kettle, into the shower, out to the front porch for the paper, to the desk to fire up the laptop. Emails, scheduling, a lecture to write for this week, an article to proofread. Glad to stay home and work. Glad to spend time getting things done with only the tweeting to disturb her.

The telephone shrieked, scattering the birds and smothering her thoughts. Damn. Who would call so early? Mom. “Hi Mom… Oh. Oh my God. Oh no… When? Who was with her? Oh no…umm…I love you too….I know she did….I’ll phone as soon as I’ve booked a flight….Oh…Ummm…How are you doing? OK…Yeah, I will….I love you too….OK…Bye.” She turned to the laptop and booked a flight for the following day. And then she sat and wished that the birds were still fluttering nearby.

She stared past her screen-saver and saw her family: sitting down, standing up, walking in, walking out, lips moving, hugging. Her neck and shirt were wet. She stood and took a step one way and then the other. Where’s the kleenex? She shrugged, swiped at her eyes with the back of her hand and crawled down to the floor, curling in like a caterpillar. She sobbed. And sobbed. And then she sniffled. Rolling onto her back she heard the birds come back to the yard. She asked them, “What should I do now? What am I supposed to do now?” Her voice echoed and then disappeared. No meaningful response. She sniffled again. And again. And then she knew. Her tear-drenched lips almost smiled as she rose. Once in the kitchen, she laid a pot on the stove and filled it with everything needed to reassure herself and to help her remember until tomorrow’s flight home.

Chicken Soup Like a Grandmother Used to Make

I don’t actually have a recipe because it’s never the same twice. Here’s what my baba used to do, what my mom and I still do.

Get out your chicken, either a whole chicken or some thighs, drumsticks, wings or some combination. You need about 3 lbs, more is fine. Always use chicken that has skin and bones when making soup. Put the chicken into a pot that fits it with at least a couple of inches to spare.

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