Dear Michael and Caroline,
My grandmother would do anything for me, and often did.
In my earliest memories as a boy, my Nana would make me anything I wanted to eat, at any time, without any question or hesitation. She would make me French Toast and coffee heavy on the milk, all most delicious.
Throughout my life, even well into adulthood, Nana would look to feed me. When I took my first apartment in Manhattan, on East 7th Street between Avenues A and B, she would give me food to take home. Brisket, stuffed cabbage, the plumpest, juiciest shrimp, tuna salad made with her own hands (complete with carrots and raisins), homemade chopped liver, macaroons, and on and on.
In my every visit to her apartment, she would offer me something to eat, a snack, a sandwich, a nosh, something, anything. Her drive to feed me was primal, instinctive and all-powerful. Sometimes I would agree to eat something she offered just because I felt I should, and because it was easier than saying no, because to say no would disappoint her and leave me feeling guilty.
Her desire to feed me, to see me eat and grow sated and strong as a result, expressed itself as a force of nature, like a strong wind that bends everything in its path.
Ah, but her wish to see me happy went well beyond food.
P.S. – See Part 2 tomorrow.