I’d just discovered sushi when my grandmother died. It wasn’t the sort of food you found in rural Oklahoma, not the time I grew up. I tried it when my boss took us there for dinner. I enjoyed it and learned that I have good chopstick days and bad chopstick days.
A few weeks after grandmother passed away, I dreamed about sushi, about sitting in a beautiful restaurant: dark granite table, fine wine, and limited lighting. I could hear other tables, snatches of their conversation, the chink of glass on stone, but I couldn’t see them. I looked around the table and saw my father across from me and my grandmother sitting next to me.
The meal continued. We ate. We laughed. We talked about nothing important. A waiter appeared with a small tray. As he set it on the table, he said, “This is the only fish of this kind. This is the only time you will have this meal.”
At that moment I realized my grandmother was dead, that I was dreaming, and that when I woke she’d be gone again. As the thought came to me she winked, and I woke up.
Since then I’ve made sushi my happy food. I eat it when I’m down, sad, or grieving. My father died this week, and I’m eating a lot of sushi. My friend Liz, dear heart, sent me a set of chopsticks she picked up for me in Japan. I don’t know if she’s like me is terrible about mailing things or if they just arrived, but I love them and I intend to put them to good use.