Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Kim’s Chicken-Noodle Soup

 Our insurance company is refusing to pay $41,000. They’ve reneged like this before—and then after hours on hold, Mike and I have begged them over the phone and they’ve paid. I saw this insurance denial first thing in the morning—and it started my day off poorly. You know those days: Your computer keeps crashing and your dogs get into the garbage can. You find dirty socks hidden in the sofa, and someone eats all of the cookies you JUST baked. That was my day—and I cried. All I could keep thinking about was my mom’s chicken soup with homemade noodles. If I could just have some of that and a hug from her, it would all be better—even the cancer.

Trey saw me crying and instantly pulled out his earbuds. He might usually act like a teenager, but he’s honestly always there when I need him. “I’ll do the dishes. Indy, you clean up the mess on the ground and then take a shower. Mom, go lie down.”

“But, I need to cook dinner and—“

He cut me off. “Go rest! Now! We can figure out dinner after you rest!!!”

So I went to my room, shocked that Trey had taken charge like that. I fell asleep for about an hour and woke up from a little knock on my door. 

“Mama,” Indy said plopping down on my bed. She placed her head on my pillow and faced me so our eyes were only inches apart. “Do you ever get scared of dying?”

She seemed like a woodland creature I’d chanced upon in the forest. She has the biggest, most-innocent, fairy eyes.

“Yes. Sometimes I get scared of dying,” I admitted.

“Me too. It sounds painful. Is that why you get scared?”

“No,” I said. “I get scared of dying…because I don’t want to leave you.”

She bit her trembling lip as we imagined a world without each other. 

I honestly can’t fathom leaving my family for whatever the hell the afterlife might be. I just don’t even know if we’ll remember each other or if I’ll quit existing. If it’s Heaven…or if I’ll become a drop in an endless ocean of energy.  “I don’t want to be away from you either,” Indy cried. “Oh…Mama.”

She threw her arms around me. We sobbed together, both trying to comprehend what we’re going through and how hard life can really be. After we stopped crying, I wiped my eyes, thought of something, and broke out laughing. 

Indy raised an inquisitorial brow.

“I was so stupid today!” I confessed. “I got upset about the dumbest things! Bills. The dogs. That I didn’t…get a cookie.” We both laughed. “Sometimes I lose perspective.”

“What do you mean?” she asked.

“When I used to get upset about dumb stuff I’d pretend that I’d already died and God let me come back to live for one single day. If I imagined that, everything bad would seem insignificant because I was so lucky to be ‘back on earth.’ The day would seem amazing no matter what came at me.”

“Would that even work with cancer?”

“Yep. And then I’d think of things I’m grateful for like all of my kids, and Mike, and Noni’s chicken noodle soup with homemade noodles.” That reminded me—I needed to make dinner!

I walked out of my room and right after I told Trey how thankful I am for him, someone knocked on our door. Kim—our neighbor—stood there, holding a big pot of chicken noodle soup. He left after I thanked him for the meal and the French bread. Indy came around the corner, we set the soup on the counter, and lifted the lid. 

“Homemade noodles!” Indy exclaimed.

“Just like Noni makes,” Trey said.

I stared at the soup, stunned.

So, I gained perspective again. I’m so grateful for my kids, my family, my friends (including my amazing neighbors). I feel like anything can come at me, and I’ll be happy because this is another day that God has allowed me to be on this earth with my husband and kids. It’s another day, filled with little miracles—like Kim’s chicken soup with homemade noodles.


  1. At first this made me mad. Healthcare and insurance in this country are so upsetting to me. I worked at UCLA and before we were marriend, Errol was critically and needed surgery. They put him in a wheelchair and kicked him to the curb. After referring him to their more public hospital. Not getting an ambulance. I picked him up and drove him there. He was unresponsive when we arrived. Could have died right there. After that experience, I proposed marriage and excellent health insurance to him. Didn't get down on my knees, had no ring, but he still accepted. And from there our love grew.

  2. Oh, I was saying, at first this made me mad. I was going to end like this: But the chicken soup once and again saved the day. Of course, at my age, I forget half the stuff I'm supposed to say and do. I now have my phone notify me when I should feed my dog. She eats three times a day and I remember the first and last, but never the middle. Being a smart dog, of course, she plays me on that one and may get an extra meal out of it.