So much has happened in the last month! I’m chagrined that I did not write once in November but hope to explain that I was not off on vacation. It’s been a time of loss for several of my dear friends and as they are traveling their road I have tried to help in the ways that I know how. For me that means bringing soup, being there to listen, and of course, by offering pies. Pies, in and of themselves, are not going to do much to assuage the pain of loss. However, if my friends feel a little more loved for a while, then my efforts have been well worth it.
Another reason I did not have time to write this past month was due to a different kind of loss. In early November I helped my Dad move back to Florida. He had lived there for almost twenty years before he had a stroke in March of 2013. After three trips to Florida that Spring I decided that he needed to come back to Oregon with me. My goal was to be able to take care of him AND (try to) live my life. To my great dismay, that plan did not work out. My Dad did not like being in Oregon and longed to be back in Florida near his girlfriend. After much deliberation, and with the blessing of his doctor and his social worker, I arranged for my Dad to move to the same facility where his girlfriend lives. Friends ask, “Is your Dad happy now?” and I answer, “I think so” but what I know for certain was that he was not happy here with me. Knowing that makes me a little sad but I have to honor his choice. It is, after all, his life.
Before I left Florida, I made sure to bring a Pumpkin Pie to the woman in charge of the kitchen in my Dad’s building. It was a way to thank her in advance for her care and attention. Then I made some Pecan Shortbread cookies for the director of Nursing. It is my hope that they will help her to think fondly of my Dad.
The rest of the month is a bit of a blur. A few days after I came back from Florida was the first night of the season for our church’s homeless shelter which I am helping to coordinate. It’s my first time in this role and I am humbled to be able to help those in need in a tangible way and honored to work together with all the caring people who make this shelter possible.
Then last week, I helped Ashland High School Nordic Team bake 42 pies to raise funds for ski equipment. It was a long day but it was fun to work together with friends helping our student athletes. As you can imagine, the church kitchen smelled absolutely delicious afterwards! I could not imagine leaving that wonderful aroma in the room without also leaving some food, so I took some of the leftover apples and put together a quick cobbler for our shelter guests. I found this note when I came the next day
That simple note made my day! I believe that kindness is something we can all give to one another. Often the cost to us is minimal, but the difference it can make in the lives of those around us is immeasurable. I’d love to hear your stories of how an act of kindness made your day… either as the giver or the receiver. Your story might inspire someone to do something they might not otherwise have done…. at least that is my hope!
“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” The Dalai Lama
Lastly I wanted to share a photo taken on Thanksgiving as my husband was cooking. My son called this our family’s idea of “being funny.”