From Scratch by Tembi Locke
"She had said so many things, things that were hard to hear, harder still to push through. Things the therapist and books all said were very normal. When those moments happened, when the grief was too big and it threatened to buckle the frame of the house, we'd often go to the back yard of our house and lie on the grass, put our bodies prostrate on the earth. On the blanket looking at the stars, I would tell her to give her hurt to the stars. They could take it. I told her she could say anything to them. She could cry, she could scream, she could curse, anything she felt. She often said only one thing: "Babbo, you should not have left me.”
I have unintentionallly put myself through the emotional ringer this month reading so many back to back books regarding death and grief, but it has turned out to be an incredibly cathartic experience for me. When I read the above passage from Tembi Locke’s emotional memoir, it immediately brought tears to my eyes because it is something that I think is always on your lips when you lose a parent... whether you are coping as a 7 year old daughter or a daughter who is 42... we think “you should not have left me." We want our loved ones to always be with us, and no matter how old we are, it always seems incomprehensible and unbearable when it comes time to have to say goodbye.
From Scratch is the heartbreakingly, gorgeous debut that Reese Witherspoon selected as her May read for her Hello Sunshine Book Club pick. It is a meditation on love, family, loss, and navigating overwhelming grief. It is an honest testament of what is is like to care for someone with a terminal illness, and highlights the struggle of adjusting to becoming a family of 2 instead of 3.
And then there’s the food. I LOVED how food was infused all through out this story. Here in the South, food is definitely a love language and I related so much to the scenes where Tembi and her in-laws come together and find comfort and connection in the kitchen. But most of all, this book is a love letter to those we cherish and who leave us too soon. All the stars.