Let Him Eat Steak

or, palliative feeding. Wherein I argue with a 91 year old.

So, I’m still bringing those Saturday night dinners to Mr. and Mrs. S. And this Saturday night, we had a little argument, Mr. S. and me.

I told him I’m going to bring a steak every Saturday night.

He said I didn’t need to do that.

I said,

I know that, and what kind of steak sauce do you like?

He said,


I said,

Okay, I’m bringing A1 next week.

He said,

No, it will make a mess.

I said,

I’m just going to buy a bottle and bring it with me.

And he said,

Now you’re making this complicated. Don’t do that! Don’t make a fuss! I take what I get.

{note: and he means it; he does, which is part of why he’s part of the Greatest Generation, I guess.}

And I said,

Fine! I’ll never bring you steak sauce, ever, ok?

And he said,


When I was little I thought the bottle said “Al” steak sauce–like the man’s name Al, nickname for Albert or Alfred. My parents thought this was hilarious; I still think see the name “Al” if I squint. Plus, “Al” steak sauce sounds friendlier.

As I’ve written about before (Grace and a Steak Dinner) Mr. S’s favorite food is steak. It’s the only thing that he seems really excited about eating. And since his appetite’s so poor, that’s important. So I think he’s going to get a steak every Saturday night for the rest of his life, if I can possibly make that happen.

Maybe it sounds really macabre, but as with last meals, feeding Mr. and Mrs. S is less about health and more about love and grace and comfort–palliative feeding.

palliative |ˈpalēˌātiv; ˈpalēətiv|
(of a treatment or medicine) relieving pain or alleviating a problem without dealing with the underlying cause

I can’t fix the cancer and the infections and the paralysis and the pain from all those things plus the leftover WW2 injury that earned Mr. the purple heart. I can’t erase the fear, the anxiety, the loneliness, or the confusion. There’s so much that I can’t do.

But I can grill steaks.

And I can bring A1 sauce.

Which is what I plan to do.

3 thoughts on “Let Him Eat Steak

  1. Rachel you are a sweet girl and Mr.S told me how special you are to do this and this was before the steak. Yes he does love his steak. It was good to see his smile as he was telling me about it. God Bless You.

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