From 5 years old my youngest son’s favorite food was peanut butter and honey sandwiches on white bread. Once in awhile I could get away with jelly or jam, but he said they were never the same. From third grade (when I found out from his teacher he just wasn’t eating the school lunches) through his Senior year I made him a homemade lunch featuring peanut butter sandwiches every day. Did I know this wasn’t the healthiest? Yes. Did I try to get him to eat other foods? Yes. Did I slip in other kinds of sandwiches now and then? Yes. But what he wanted and loved most was peanut butter sandwiches. And because I loved him (and wanted him to EAT), I made them. Year after year. When he came home from school he was always hungry and asked for “second lunch”. I’d make him another sandwich with some cut up fruit and we’d sit and talk about his day…until the day he graduated. I became an empty nester when he left for college 2 months ago and several changes have happened within me. But one that seemed strange was my craving and EATING peanut butter sandwiches. I never really liked them growing up. As an adult I know how nutritionally lacking they are…and I rarely eat white bread. But here I am…2 months into my son moving away and I’ve probably eaten three a week. On white bread ta-boot. If I don’t have a sandwich, I've been eating a big spoon of peanut butter every DAY. Sometimes several times a day! The cravings would be so strong and seem to come out of nowhere. Today I FINALLY realized the connection. Food holds memories. And I’m missing my son. I miss making his lunch with love every morning and sending him off knowing he’ll find it in a few hours and feel cared for and fed. I miss those daily second lunches and talks at the kitchen counter and just being near him. And I’m trying to recreate that feeling through food. The smell, the thought, the memories of peanut butter remind me of my love for him. They remind me of HIM. There’s an empty space in my heart right now and I’m filling it with peanut butter. And that’s okay. Because now I understand. And I cried a little and gave myself some grace. I’m AWARE of where this is coming from now. And sometimes that’s enough.