The definition of an anniversary: “the yearly recurrence of the date of a past event” (   Some we look forward to, such as wedding anniversaries and birthday anniversaries.  However, there are those we do not anticipate.  As much as I have loved the month of October, now it holds one of those dreaded anniversary days – the date of my husband’s graduation to Heaven.

For some reason, this year it has really hit me hard.  I think it is because it is a fifth year; we tend to emphasize those when it comes to anniversaries and reunions.  I am struggling with the idea that Bob has been gone for five years.  It seems impossible, but I have to face the fact that it is true.  The waves of grief that had appeared to settle down have been higher and deeper again.

Why am I relating my struggle?  I am writing for those who are in the same boat as I am.  For those who are feeling overwhelmed.  For those who feel as if the next wave will wipe them out.  I write to say that you are not alone, even though it may seem that you are.  I write to say that there is hope.  The storm will pass, and things will calm, at least for a while.

There are days that I strive to sense a purpose for my life now that Bob is no longer with me.  I miss being a part of someone’s daily living.  I miss having someone else involved in the decisions that I need to make.  I miss the shared responsibility of marriage – now everything is up to me.

My path through this journey of grief has not been an easy one, but who would expect it to be?  Nevertheless, I keep going on.  My faith in the God who made me and the hope I have in Christ give me the strength I need from day to day (sometimes moment by moment).  When I am feeling overwhelmed, I remember that I only need to take one step, then the next one, and the next one.  The Lord has my future in His control.  It’s time to take a deep breath, then trust His guidance.

As I choose recipes for Cooks’ Corner, I often go back and read prior columns to see if I can use something from the past.  They often include Bob’s opinion about certain dishes, which causes me to miss my taste-tester terribly!  Since October is National Spinach Month, I chose something he really enjoyed, plus an old favorite that I have never used before.


Fresh Spinach-and-Apple Salad with Cinnamon Vinaigrette

 2 medium apples, thinly sliced

6 cups torn fresh spinach, washed and thoroughly drained

1/4 cup honey

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 garlic clove, pressed

1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine apples and spinach in a serving bowl.  Whisk together honey and next 6 ingredients until well blended.  Pour mixture over salad, tossing gently.  Serve immediately.

For individual salads, divide spinach and apples into 4 salad bowls (use 2 bowls for a large dinner salad).  Add extra ingredients, if desired. Suggestions:  diced cooked chicken, toasted nuts (walnuts, almonds, or pecans), dried cranberries, cheese crumbles.


Spinach Bisque

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2-1/2 cups milk

1 cup water

1/4 to 1/2 cup processed American cheese

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

Oyster crackers (optional)

In a 3-quart saucepan, sauté onion in butter until tender.  Stir in flour, salt, and nutmeg until smooth.  Gradually whisk in milk and water.  Add cheese; cook and stir over medium heat until melted.  Add spinach; cover and simmer for 4-5 minutes or until heated through.  Serve with oyster crackers if desired.  Yield: 5-6 servings.