Hide & Seek: When Lasagna Means Love

When does lasagna mean love for guest blogger Scott Newport? When his family is grieving after the death of their son with special needs.

Sometimes, the demands of caring for a child with special needs doesn’t leave much time for a husband and wife with much time for one another. In today’s guest blog post, Scott Newport tells the story of how his wife communicated love through one, small, ordinary act a few years ago. Maybe his story will open your eyes to the ways others display love in your life.

Hide and Seek

A couple of weeks back, it snowed all day here in Michigan. It was the first big snow of the year. The weatherman announced we had about 10 inches on the ground when it was all said and done. It was a Sunday, so there was no school or work. For at least that day the harsh, gray conditions of winter would be hidden away and covered by a magical blanket of white powder.

The Importance of Time with Dad

During the course of the day, Noah and I cleared the drive and sidewalk, after which we went sledding with a friend, at our local park. We even took time to help a couple of our neighbors whose cars were stuck. Working and having fun was a great opportunity for a father and son to spend time together. Penni stayed inside and took care of Evan and all his medical needs. Occasionally I would see her bright face peak out the window to see what was going on.

When it was time to come inside Noah and I entered the side door of our home and took off layers of clothes encrusted with hunks of snow. After kicking off our boots we both immediately cornered Penni and told “our” side of the story of who really won the snowball fight and who had gone the farthest on the hill. She smiled graciously as she listened to both of us.

The Importance of Food

After settling in for the evening, my stomach reminded me that Noah and I had missed lunch. I soon forgot that thought when Penni yelled, “Come and get it!” which is her way of ringing the dinner bell at our home. It was time to eat and I was so delighted to smell the familiar aroma of Penni’s homemade lasagna. I heard the slam of the metal oven door as Penni yelled again for me to come up from the basement. I quickly pointed the remote toward the TV and turned the football game off. After running upstairs, I found myself first in line. Penni piled my plate with a large square of steaming lasagna and a hunk of warm Italian bread.

Noah came running in and was next. As I walked away, I could hear a slice of lasagna hit Noah’s plate. I couldn’t help but feel loved when Noah asked Penni, “Hey mom, why didn’t I get a fork? You put one on dad’s plate and didn’t do it for me. That’s no fair.”

Penni plainly replied, “Look son, you’re a big boy now, you can do some things yourself.”

“Ah… mom,” Noah sighed while walking toward the silverware drawer.

The Importance of a Fork

You may not understand the importance of that dialogue. Family life with a chronically ill kid, like Evan, is not always easy. Too often, daily life is marked with an unkind word here or a bit of sarcasm there. Sometimes it’s hard to love. Many times there isn’t even time for love. Sometimes love is nowhere to be found.  There is so much daily stress, so many things to do just to survive. I guess you could say it is like a game of hide and seek. And when you can’t find love that is hidden, you just give up.

But for me, that small gesture was like magic. When my wife put a fork on my plate, it was like seeing her in a sweet dream, blowing me a kiss as she winked. At that moment the love came out of hiding.

It was just a moment in time I had to grasp. It could have been so easily missed, but I caught it. As I sat at the dinner table, eating lasagna and watching the snow fall silently, I thought to myself, “Yeah, she loves Noah and Evan, but I think today she loves me more.”

At least that’s the way I felt.

Scott (Evan’s dad)

Scott and Penni Newport’s son Evan died in November of 2009 after 7 years of joyful life.

The Importance of Love

Where have you seen love hiding? If Scott’s story jogged your memory, please leave a comment about how someone showed love to you in an ordinary way.

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Meet Jolene

Jolene Philo is a published author, speaker, wife, and mother of a son with special needs.



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