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Kansas City MO 64131






Cindy Maddera


Saturday I received a text from my friend Kamille saying that she would be driving back to OKC from Iowa on Sunday and that she had to go right through KCMO and then asked if we could meet for lunch. Well of course! Of course we could meet for lunch. And we did. We went to a new Vegan place that just opened a month ago called Cafe Gratitude. Cafe Gratitude is an overall good place, meaning it's not just the food. Their mission statement says stuff about being grateful and helping the community and using local and sustainable and enjoying life and enjoying your food. Your waiter or waitress will give you some question to ponder and discuss (I can't remember what ours was) and there are also a deck of cards on the table that have philosophical thought questions. One of our questions was What is something you judge about yourself? I said that I judge myself for that last week Chris was alive. Kamille said that I shouldn't and I know that I shouldn't, but I do. I didn't call the hospice nurse fast enough. I didn't call his mom fast enough. I wasted one whole day curled up in a sobbing ball at his side. I could have done this different. I could have done that better. I should have been more prepared. I judge myself for all of this. And it's wrong and it's stupid and I know I did the best I could at the time, but I still judge myself. I can't help it. But I put my judgement in the same category as I do fear.

I knew a woman who stopped eating peanut butter all together after the recall for Salmonella. No peanut butter after that. She stopped eating meat because she feared mad cow disease. She stopped eating eggs because of cholesterol. She cut it all out completely, no moderation or buying from good local sources. She just cut it clean out because of fear. She was scared. She let fear dictate her life. I refuse to do this. Judgement falls into the same place. The follow up question even asked about how we let those judgments affect our lives. I don't. I don't let them change me. When the could've should've would'ves creep into my brain, I kick them out. It's like crying over spilled milk. There's no point to it. But it doesn't mean I don't think about it and it doesn't mean I never wonder about the what ifs. I just don't dwell on them. I don't let those thoughts set up camp and hang out.

And this is something I'm grateful for, even if it's not a Friday.