On January I was enjoying watching the Aurora Borealis in the Arctic circle of northern Sweden, while thousands of miles away my nice “Christian” brother in law was murdering my sister in front of their daughter in a small ugly town in Virginia.
As soon as I found out I flew back to the states and that small town where she lived. Back to Jesus land and my Jesus loving family and that hate for others that seems to go hand in hand with a love of Jesus. Back to the land of lard and factory food. Where as my spouse pointed out at the funeral there were almost as many sex stores as there were churches and there were churches on every corner.
In Sweden I had a freakout about the scarcity of fresh produce and the high cost of food, a trigger that goes back to a childhood of always feeling hungry emotionally and physically. In Virginia I was in the land of the buffet, every counter overflowing with the cheapest food cooked in the maximum amount of lard and oil. Yet there too there was the lack of the fresh produce and healthy food that 10 years in California and 10 years before that surround by folkies, hippies and environmentalist had made me consider as natural as clean water to drink and fresh air to breath. And in Virginia unlike my unfounded fears of scarcity in Sweden I was indeed starving for emotional and physical sustenance just as my sister had been in the years leading up to her husband committing one final permanent act of harm.
While I was in Virginia for 2 1/2 weeks staying at a motel that the cab driver who took me to the airport confided to me was a a known crack den I ate from 4 buffet restaurants, two chain restaurants and my mother’s finest family food which consisted of some kind of breaded meat, canned veggies and lots o’startch. The saving grace for me was the local Trader Joe’s but the food I got from them was more a security blanket than something that I actually ate. It greeted me every evening after spending all day with my tight smiled mom, my darling niece and nephew and my mental father. I lost almost 15 pounds in the 2 1/2 weeks I was there. I lost far more than that but pounds can be measured, people can not be.
I came back home having been gone for 2 1/2 weeks in Virginia after being in Europe for six weeks but in some ways I went back 20 years to before I escaped from my parents home. Yet it’s 20 years later and my sister who was the example I followed to leave the abuse and fear, is gone. Not just gone. Taken, murdered by the person that was suppose to protect her from the cold world and the starvation. The man that she converted to Catholicism and with whom she pledged to never raise her voice against nor he against her. No instead he raised my father’s shot gun and put multiple holes in her chest.
There are holes that we fill with many things. My family fills them with hate and Jesus. I’ve always filled them with travel and food. What happened is a constant thought, a hunger for a person who is gone and a hunger to understand what happened. While I figure how to even accept what happened let alone why, I think I’ll make some food.