The Caro-Bama Comfort

May 6, 2011

Today I found myself on campus, taking care of a few last minute, end-of-the-semester, things. When I arrived, there wasn’t all the buzzing around as there is on other days. Professors weren’t there or if they were, they were stressed with last minute papers and grades, specifically for the seniors as graduation is tomorrow. There were a few students, cars packed, trying to squeeze in themselves, and head home – wherever home is for them.

I wandered over to one of my favorite buildings, found my friends in the state of chaos, and began to feel in the way. As they couldn’t get away to go out to lunch, we ordered lunch, picked it up, and ate on campus. I had heard several fellow students talking about Hot Diggity Dog but thought it was weird, a restaurant specializing in hot dogs. However, this is where we got our lunch. May I just say, it was the best hot dog I’ve ever eaten. I ordered my dog with chili and slaw – I hadn’t had one since I was pregnant with my daughter. One of the dogs my friend got had fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, and other veggies on it – I think I’ll try that one next time.

I found myself being comforted with each bite. I realize it’s weird to say that a hotdog provided comfort but the moment was a happy moment. I had just learned I was pregnant, wasn’t really even showing, and I was off to vacation in Alabama. There were crazy, spontaneous, and fun moments attached to that hotdog. Yet, it was a bittersweet memory – all that memory, that hotdog, represents is lost and never to be recovered.

Since that time when I was pregnant with my daughter, I have found my world turned upside down and away from my family. I barely have a relationship with my sister and I only am able to see my folks twice a year, if that. I tried to fill the void with people here, never finding exactly the same connection. However, there are those people that God places in your life that will speak truth into it, no matter if truth is painful. They become your family.

I have found someone who does just that for me. She is my mentor, my friend – my second mom. I’m not always knocking down her door, of course isn’t that like a college kid – only knocking down the parents door when in need of something. She tolerates me in those moments, often with grace and love. Today she provided me a new memory, over a hotdog. In return, I was able to be a mentor, a friend – second mom, to another that evening. She never gives me notice, just a last minute text asking if I can meet her – just like your typical college kid.

As I reflect on this day, it’s amazing to see where my life has ended up. I replaced my daily comfort of coffee with a hotdog and a chimichanga [Chuy’s is where I meet up with my ‘college kid’]. Sometimes comfort comes in the form of a hug, laughter, a friend, making a new memory and sometimes it comes in the form a hotdog.

Is there a time that comfort came to you in an untraditional form?

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