Vince and I met our good friends Sue and Jeff for dinner last weekend at Brio. One of the soups featured at this restaurant is lobster bisque. Vince loves their lobster bisque!
Me? Not so much. I’m not a big fan of the seafood.
My parents, however, grew up in New England and if they could have had fish every night of the week, I think they would have.
Our summers were not complete without at least one “lobster fest.” And when my parents stayed at their cottage from spring until fall on Cape Cod they’d have “lobstah” at least once a month.
So in May of 2016 Vince and I drove around Columbus looking for a grocery store selling live lobsters. Our plan was to drive to Alliance to bring mom dinner for Mother’s Day. We had baked a cake in the heart-shaped pans that were Vince’s mom’s long ago. And we bought a card and some pretty flowers for her.
After calling around and not having any luck locating live lobsters, I told Vince that mom would be just as happy with a bucket of chicken from KFC and it would be so much easier. But he was determined.
Finally, we called a store that said they had four lobsters left, but another person had called about them. The seafood manager said that since no one had yet paid for them, they were up for grabs to the first person who came in to claim them.
Now I’m not going to say that Vince drove like a bat out of hell…but, well, let’s just say we made it to the store much sooner than we should have, what with speed limits and all. He practically shoved me out of the moving vehicle so I could get to the seafood counter first. When I finally reached the back of the store, I gasped out that I wanted those lobsters.
And I got ‘em.
(By the way, I was just kidding about Vince shoving me out of a moving vehicle. But I can’t promise what would’ve happened if it had taken me much longer to collect my purse and unlatch my safety belt…!)
Anyway, the seafood manager carefully wrapped those lobsters, which took for-ev-er, but I finally had them in my hot little hands. As I was leaving carrying my prizes, a man hustled up to the counter and, a little out of breath himself, asked for lobster.
While I felt a little bad about it, I also turned tail and wheeled my grocery cart toward the checkout line as fast as I could. I didn’t want to get into any physical altercations over crustaceans. Especially since I’m not a big fan.
But our meal that day was wonderful – and I even ate some. Vince and my dad had carefully removed all the meat from the lobsters so that mom didn’t have to do any of the work, which actually made me a little sad. I can remember all those years, mom loved working the cracker and the little tool to get every last morsel of lobster meat.
We took photos and enjoyed our day together. Little did I know that it was to be the last Mother’s Day we’d spend in Alliance. And we’d never get to celebrate Father’s Day in June with dad as he had his fall a little more than three weeks from that day.
Looking back, I’m so very glad we didn’t opt for the easy way out with a bucket of chicken that Mother's Day. And I’m so grateful to Vince that he insisted we go the extra mile to find live lobsters for my parents.
I believe those moments illustrate how important it is to make the most out of every opportunity to show the people in our lives how much they mean to us. Because you never know when it will be the last time.
So last weekend when I saw lobster bisque on the menu, I ordered a bowl to go. And the next day I took it to my mom for her dinner.
Mom’s appetite isn’t what it used to be and she rarely finishes the small portion of food she has on her plate.
But she ate every drop of that lobster bisque. When she found a piece of lobster on her spoon, she smiled and savored it. If she could have licked the bowl, I think she would have.
It made her happy for a moment. And that brought me so much joy, I'm still smiling about it.