I have lost friends to death, and it was sorrowful and strange, but life went on and remaining friends were taken for granted. It's just easier to assume the ones we're close to will always be there.
I've also lost family, and the sting was much deeper and still lingers. I sat by my father's side with tears in my eyes as I watched him take his last breath. I thought of fishing & hunting trips, woodworking in the shop, and long talks to solve the worlds problems. I also thought of opportunities missed, meaningless disagreements, and desires postponed. We always talked of going to the annual boat show in Annapolis, but never made it. Time was taken for granted, and his (our) next year never came. He used to tell me; 'Don't get so busy making a living, that you forget to make a life.' I agreed. Yep, next year I'm gonna start living by that advice. Surely, the lyrics to Harry Chapin's 'The Cat's In the Cradle' doesn't apply to us. right? How haunting the truth is when it hurts.
Truth, however, can also be comforting, liberating, and refreshing when it reveals the love of family, friends , and God. Knowing that others love us and care for us, and that God will never leave us or forsake us, gives us strength to carry on.
Recently, as the result of a tragic loss, I've seen firsthand the love of friends displayed to one in need. I've only been a member of the food blogging community for a short while, but I've already experienced the love and camaraderie shared within it. It's easy to say; "We're here for you!', but the proof, or truth, is in the actions.
When I heard that Jennifer Perillo had lost her husband, Mikey, to a sudden heart attack, I was grief stricken. I have never met either of them, but it didn't matter. People, my friends, were hurting, so I hurt too. Mikey was way too young to go, and Jennifer is way to unprepared for such a blow. What about the kids, the commitments, the bills? Messages, well wishes, and condolences began to flow on twitter. I even sent my own, though we had never tweeted personally. I felt heavy hearted, but expected tomorrow to come, along with the cooking, eating, and forgetting. What I didn't expect, to my shame, was the continued love and support that flowed from the food blogging community. Not just from neighbors, and immediate family, but friends from around the country and the world. Many, probably most, have never met her, but chose to love and care in a meaningful way. Not just in words, but in actions as well. After all, Love is not just a feeling, it's an active choice.
A whole day was dedicated to #apieformikey and a fund has been set up to benefit Jennifer and her family. You can give here.
Many people also began thinking of creative ways to raise money for this fund. Auctions, Donations, Cook Book sales, etc. I thought, How Awesome! This is what friends and community are all about, caring.
I want to help, too. So, in memory of time spent with my dad, and to help Jennifer and family, I'm auctioning off 2 hand turned wooden bowls. Woodworking was something dad and I enjoyed together, and turning bowls on the lathe is my favorite. These are turned from solid blocks of wood (1 black cherry, 1 zebra wood) and are finished with walnut oil, so are food safe. They also make great props for food bloggers, hint, hint!
I will cover shipping in the U.S. and 100% of the winning bid will go to the fund for Jennifer. To bid, just leave a comment with your bid amount. Be sure your email is correct, so I can contact the winning bidder. The wood 'blanks' cost around $30 alone, so let's start the bidding at $50. Thanks for helping with such a worthy cause!
As you go about your day, quit taking those you love for granted, and give them a big hug today... and everyday! :-)