Khok: Pasta Present Principle

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When I’m feeling down or such a failure, pasta is my go-to comfort food.

My Aunt Tita Blitte—my friend, critic but also encourager—told me: Forgive others and forgive yourself. Think of the Pasta Present Principle.

She then told me this story: Rosemarie broke up with Bill, her boyfriend of seven years. It was an amicable parting, and they moved on with their lives. They found work after university, found new love, and found themselves married to their Forever Love.

After many years, they bumped into each other. There was no bad blood between them. They exchanged photos of their children and grandchildren. Talked about their work, and passions in life.

Bill was interested to meet Joe, Rosemarie’s husband. Rosemarie likewise was eager to get to know the woman whom Bill married.

As they talked, Rosemarie did the unthinkable. Rosemarie, who was a casual homemaker, invited Bill and his wife to lunch at home one Sunday. A note on “casual,” Rosemarie wasn’t the Martha Stewart type, but was beloved by her husband, Joe. He loved her wit, art, sweetness and kindness more than her pasta, steak and stew. Theirs was a marriage built on God, love, respect, fun, adventure and humor.

Sunday arrived. Her guests also arrived. Before lunch. Rosemarie was stunned. The wife, Jeanie, looked like Megan Young!

Bill proudly talked about Jeanie’s kitchen skills and home management. Joe bragged about Rosemarie’s day treks with the family, her art and all. As it turned out, lunch was a fiasco. The pasta was soft, the steak tough, but Joe ate with gusto.

With the guests gone, Rosemarie admitted she felt bad. Her Knight in Shining Armor hugged her. “Sweetie, there’s more to life than food and possessions.”

He said, “When you lose all matter, what really matters is your love for God and making that love be felt by others.

He added: “Think of The Pasta Present Principle. You may fail in one matter, but what matters is the present, your love, your heart and love for family. Don’t let one soft cheese mac define your worth as a person. You’re worth more than one mac. Think of your better qualities when you feel down. At the end of our life, our Life’s Book will reveal how we lived.”

My aunt ended her story, and went puttering in the kitchen.

I looked at her. My heart swelled, and my eyes became misty. I concluded that all her life she has lived by the Pasta Present Principle.

Her order in life is worth emulating: Love God, love others, love self. I’ll end with others: I love you, Tita.


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