Sunday, August 5, 2007

Family Reunion

My husband's parents, siblings, and our families. The only person missing is his sister's husband.

Guess what I'm feeling.

Chicken and noodles are a special tradition in my mother-in-law's family.

She was willing to scream for this ham sandwich.

This is plate #2 or maybe #3. She's not so sure anymore. Most of this got pitched in the trash.

Today was a family reunion for my husband's mother's side of the family. His mother is one of six children, but they are scattered all over the country and rarely get together. In fact, this was my first time meeting one of his aunts.

We brought 5 watermelons and a big tub of cantaloupe. Last night, our two oldest children were overheard talking about what food they might get to eat. They talked a lot about chips. At the reunion, there was a LOT of fruit besides our watermelon--others brought fruit trays and more melons. We had talked to them in the car about how they might get sick if they ate food that wasn't raw, since it has been quite some time since they ate any. We tried not to make a big thing about it.

My two oldest children immediately parked themselves in front of a tray ofcrackers and began chowing. We tried to call them away to playgames with their cousins. They continued eating for awhile and then played for a bit. They kept asking when they could dig into the main dishes. When everyone else started serving their plates, they immediately began loading up their plates with fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, ham sandwiches, etc. I mentioned again that they might get a stomachache if they ate that. They continued.

I WAS going to at least feed the 3 year-old fruit because I felt she was too young to decide for herself whether or not to eat poison. She SCREAMED, and grandma handed her a ham sandwich. O.k. Apparently 3 year-olds CAN decide. Then my husband served himself a big plate of everything. So, after almost 2 months of doing this "together," I am now the only raw vegan in the room again. (Actually, my husband has recently been more honest with me that he, in fact, has been cheating here and there all along.)

I practiced observing people and trying not to judge them or give them advice in my head. I walked around and took many photos. I was surprised that people did not seem to notice that I was taking pictures. No one asked me one question when I did not eat at the same time as everyone else, or when I ate a big plate of melon and nothing else. I enjoyed taking photos. It was difficult to just see people without adding commentary in my head.

The kids did NOT throw up at the reunion or on the car ride home, which we were worried about. Also, they ate less than they would have in the past. After eating, I could tell they all felt a bit sick. Our middle daughter laid in a lawn chair for quite some time. Then she went and got herself a plate of cantaloupe and honeydew. Maybe she thought that would help? In the car, our son told us that his stomach DID hurt after he ate. I asked, "Did you like that?" He said, "Kinda."

I felt pretty bummed out by the whole experience. I really don't see the point to these events. His family didn't really talk or do anything much but eat a big meal and take some group photos. It was almost like they showed up to remind each other they carried some DNA in common and to see what each other looked like after so many years.

Tonight, our middle daughter has been throwing up and having severe diarrhea. It smells very acidic. GROSS! I have not been adding commentary at all, except to tell her I love her. This is hard for me, because I feel annoyed that I have to clean up stinky puke. I feel bad for her, though. I REALLY hope the 3 year-old is not going to puke on me in the night. We cosleep.

Today's Food

*denotes local food

About 8 cups large black seedless grapes
About 4 cups chopped watermelon
About 4 cups chopped organic cantaloupe
About 3 cups sliced Armenian snake cucumbers*
Some tomato slices grown by my husband's aunt
Some tomatoes while working in my friend's greenhouse*


Anonymous said...

Oh honey -- I am so sorry for you. THIS JUST SUCKS! :(

I hope all is well soon.



Anonymous said...

Marjorie, Your picture of yourself went straight to my core! I have been dealing with exactly this issue, not just in my family, but in myself. I have lots of thoughts on this and can't wait to get back to blogging to write about them.

Just be assured that many of us share your frustraion and have also been up with a child throwing up the remains of grandma's, or other well intentioned adults, food choices. The good news is that the children themselves will one day realize what the food is doing and begin to self regulate.

You have been such a good influence on me, I know they cannot help but be influenced greatly by your dedication and perseverance. Just keep walking your talk and be the change you want to see.

Much Love and Light!

PS You realy do look great, still love you hair. The other adults at the reunion, as well as your husband, could not help but see all the positive changes in both of you. Did your husband check his blood sugar after his "feast?" That is usually a big awakening for the diabetics in my family. It is a sure fire way for them to see the damage they are doing, immediately.

Anonymous said...

You look awesome with that buzz cut. Hot mama! ;)

It sucks dealing with non-raw family members. On the bright side, at least your family is mostly raw all of the time though. It's hard for me to even get my other family members to eat fruit. They're eastern European (Baltic) and traditional. Lots of black bread, meat and fish. Maybe it will be a learning experience for them when they realize how crappy the food made them feel.

Jennifer C. said...

I love that photo of you! You look fantastic!

Sorry your family saw the reunion as an opportunity to cheat. Maybe after all the "purging" is done they will have a better understanding of the consequences of eating that way.

Hooray for you giving up nuts! I feel so much better since I did it. Anytime I eat any overt fats now I wake up with blemishes on my chin and forehead! When I told one of the guys in my office about it he said he thought women my age had hormonal issues that caused their skin to break out! LOL!

I'm so jealous you can get those great cucumber varieties locally. Unfortunately it doesn't get warm enough here to grow them. I still haven't found a variety I can get very excited about, but I keep trying.

You are doing great...for yourself and your family...not to mention the inspiration you spread to everyone who reads your blog! Keep it up!

Heather said...

being from the midwest, i know all too well the family reunion casserole table and feel for you...i think that it was fantastic how you just told your children you loved them and held them while they were sick. it is amazing, though i'm sure amazingly hard at times as well, to let them walk their own path whilst educating them about living foods along the way, as judgment-free as possible, in hopes they will find their own way back to perfect health that much faster (which then will have so much more value because they did so of their own choice and volition).
thanks for sharing your experiences and thoughts so honestly. they are an inspiration to many.
heather :)

Greenmama said...

Hi everyone,

Thanks for your support! It means a LOT to me.

I laughed when everyone said how nice my picture was. To me, I look frustrated and a little sad and angry. Also, I notice the little pimples from eating nuts a couple of days before. And big dark circles from not getting enough sleep.

I need to go easy on myself, eh?

You guys remind me what a great journey this is!


p.s. Hi Heather! I don't remember "seeing" you around here before and I wanted to make sure I greeted you. :)

Anonymous said...

Lol! It's true, we are so hard on ourselves!

Courtney said...


I have to agree--you are WAY too hard on yourself! You are doing so well and I am happy for you. You have already come so far! Be proud of yourself!