The Memory Method

There’s a lot I don’t remember about the car accident that left me with traumatic brain injury and epilepsy. Occasionally husband Ted will fill in some of the blanks.

The most recent of these occasions came the other night when we were watching one of our favorite TV shows, the hilarious and heartbreaking “The Kominsky Method,” starring Michael Douglas as a Hollywood acting teacher and Alan Arkin as his agent/best friend. (No spoilers, please. We just started Season 2.)

Arkin’s character is grieving over the death of his wife. His fictional experience, combined with Ted’s sadness over the recent loss of his father, must have led him to relate the following story to me.

Ted hadn’t gone into detail about the early days of my hospitalization, when it wasn’t clear if I’d survive or what I’d be like if I did. The other night, however, he told me that at one point a friend of ours urged him to talk with a member of the clergy on staff. I’ll call him Rev. L.

In their talk, Ted let it all pour out. Not only was he terrified of losing his wife, he also had to keep it together for our teen daughter, who was uninjured in the accident (thank God).

He told Rev. L that since he’d been mostly living at the hospital, all the household chores had piled up. He began cleaning out the refrigerator but stopped when he came to the leftovers from the last meal we ate together.

“I couldn’t just throw it out,” he said, “so I ate some of everything.”

The pastor practically jumped out of his seat. “Food is love!” he exclaimed.

This meant a great deal to Ted, and as he related it to me, I practically jumped off the couch. “That’s what your dad always said! That’s what you tell me!”

Ted, you see, loves nothing more than taking care of his family by preparing delicious, nourishing meals. (Okay, maybe he loves baseball more.)

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