There are some days when you just need to wallow in it. There are days when the loss or grief that is lurking right under the surface needs to be let out. Normally, you keep it together, moving through the day, talking, doing, even laughing. But it is there. Always.
Maybe you tell someone. Maybe it's a friend or maybe it's someone you barely know who asks you how you are. And you really tell her. Surprise! But instead of running in the other direction, she nods and tells you that she too is carrying a loss. And you cry, but still, acknowledging the hurt feels better than always trying to forget it.
And you realize how many people are walking around with those holes. They are all out there, people who are missing and hurting and wondering how this could have happened.
Some days, you just need to wallow. You hand the kids off to a spouse, you take them to a neighbor, or you lock yourself in the bathroom for a few minutes. Or, maybe, if they are old enough, you tell them that you are sad and that you need some time to sit still.
Then you let yourself feel that sadness, that loss. You think about her and remember her, the conversations you had, her smile, her laugh.
You remember his voice and how he looked when he talked about something he loved. You remember the first time you met and the first time you had a real conversation. You remember a joke he told and an expression that he loved to use.
You remember what it felt like to be with her, how you felt. You walk through those memories, and even though it hurts, you revel in being with her again.
Then you unlock the door, dry your tears, and walk back to join those who are still here. You make something delicious and sit together to eat. Or you talk. Or walk. Or you play a game or read a book.
And even though that hole is still there, you are okay.
20 minutes preparation time
40-45 minutes baking time
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into several small pieces
2 pounds apples (6 medium), peeled, cored, and diced
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
vanilla ice cream for serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Measure the oats, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt into a small bowl. Stir them together with a fork. Add the butter and work it into the dry ingredients with your fingers until the mixture looks moist and there are no longer any apparent lumps of butter. Set aside.
Arrange the apples in a 2-quart baking dish. Add the lemon juice and stir. Sprinkle the sugar on top of the apples and stir again. Sprinkle the oat mixture evenly over the apples.
Bake until the the apples are completely soft and the topping is brown and crisp, 40 to 45 minutes.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.