This I Believe…

July 6, 2011 § 1 Comment

In my High School English class we listened to NPR’s popular show “This I Believe” in which people known and unknown pronounce statements of faith. Whether it be “Be Cool to The Pizza Delivery Dude” or “I Believe There Is No God” the statements of faith demonstrated something that someone believed to their core…something they could always count on and always check back to, something that served as a greater life philosophy.

While many of you who know me wouldn’t be surprised that part of my faith statement includes cooking and feeding those that I love, I recently discovered just how much this practice means to me.

I believe in showing love in the ways you can. I believe in cooking for family and friends. I believe in beautiful flowers. I believe in contributing what you can do best to those in need of a helping hand. Whether that be a compassionate ear, a thoughtful book, a well-picked bottle of wine or a basket of muffins, do what you do best.

This past week I spent most of my time aiding my mother as a helping hand in planning my grandpa Howard’s funeral. As a newcomer to the process of death and grief, let alone funeral planning, I wasn’t sure how I could be of service to my family.

In the face of uncertainty and family members too tired to tell me what they needed me to do I gravitated toward the place I am most comfortable, the kitchen. I arranged a cheese plate with fruit preserves, fresh fruit, crackers and plenty of chardonnay (my grandpa Howard’s favorite) for the visitation. I left the visitation early to prepare my grandpa’s famous “mac cheese” (as he would call it), broiled asparagus, salad and locally made brats for 15 emotionally exhausted family members.

I wasn’t quite sure what to say to my recently widowed (and extraordinarily strong) grandmother, but I knew how to create flower arrangements from her personal garden that my grandpa would be proud to have adorned at his memorial service.

I didn’t know exactly how to help my drained mother and uncle find energy after a long and strenuous encounter with cancer, love and death, but I knew how to cook them a dinner on a 105 degree summer day.

And so, as I I gradually learn more about sharing my love with those around me through the things I know best (most certainly something passed down from grandpa Howard’s love of a hot plate filled with Midwestern comfort and a family to share it with), I urge all of you to find what you can do best to share your love with those around you.

Some pictures of the week’s food and flowers below. And to grandpa Howard…take solace in the fact that your family will always be well fed.

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