This is what I did for dinner last night.  I opened up my fridge and found some kale.  Two leftover roasted sausages.  An onion.  Bacon.

I diced and fried up the bacon, and set it aside. I sautéed diced onions in the rendered fat, because that’s how almost every good dish starts – you saute onions.  I added the chopped kale, the diced sausages, some chicken broth, some chili flakes.  I added it all to a pot with some cooked rigatoni, and after a couple minutes of simmering, voila – dinner!  Topped with some grated parmesan and the crispy bacon, it was a satisfying meal.

“Grace, this is really good,” Daniel complimented.

“Thanks, Mom, that was delicious!” chimed Hannah

I smiled.  It felt good to make my family happy.

I am not an intuitive cook.  Instead, I cook from recipes.  I go online or to my cookbooks and find something that inspires me, then I go to the store and buy those items, which I then make for dinner.  But tonight, I did it differently. A new approach to life?  More intuitive, less structured, less planned?  Maybe.  I am trying harder to listen to my body, to listen to my heart.  To make the best of what we have.  To see the good in what is here.  After all, what’s the use of plans?

On my computer today, I found a photo of Dragon I hadn’t ever noticed.  It’s not a great picture.  It’s dark, it’s taken from behind, and you can’t even see his face. We were at my cousin Amy’s house in Maryland, the day before we took Dragon to his summer program at Johns Hopkins.  We had just returned home with a bushel of crabs and two pounds of scallops for dinner.  Dragon is standing at the stove with his back to the camera, pan-frying scallops, which he loved, in butter.  He is standing on his left leg, with his right foot propped up next to his left knee, like a crane. He has a knee brace on his left knee, which had been bothering him.  You can’t even see his face.  It’s just a normal picture, of Dragon doing an everyday thing.  But it killed me.

Today is February 14th.  While the rest of America celebrates Valentine’s Day, Daniel and I will make our way up to Glendale, to visit Dragon’s resting place.  To mark 18 months.  How is that possible?  How have we survived one day without Dragon?  How can it be a year and a half without our son?

Happy Valentines Day, Dragon.  I love you.