Tag Archives: Dutch Apple Pie

Day 284: Rachel and Mike

15 Jan

A few months ago I wrote about a young man from our small town who was the victim of a violent homicide.   His name was David and he was only twenty-three years old. As a parent of two young adults I felt deeply moved by this tragedy and my heart ached for David’s parents.   As a small gesture I sent a quiche to his Mother and offered my condolences on the loss of her son.

At this point in time, the killer has not yet been found.  And somehow the residents of Ashland try to go about doing what they have always done while living with the knowledge that they aren’t as safe as they had once thought.  And, of course, for David’s parents, life will never be the same.

Recently I was told about a couple who are friends of David’s Mother.  For the past few months they have been helping her get through the most difficult time of her life.   I am very grateful that she was able to count on them for the help and support that she needed and hope they realize what a comfort they have been to her.   Today I brought them a Dutch Apple Pie to thank them for the gift of their friendship.    My hope is that we will all have friends like this when we most need them.

“The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing… not healing, not curing… that is a friend who cares.”  Henri Nouwen

Day 225: Matt

17 Nov

Matt Damon was my son Coco’s third grade teacher at Helman Elementary. One of the things that I liked most about Matt was his quiet, gentle demeanor. He impressed me because he was able to speak to the children in the classroom in a calm, thoughtful way even when the kids were not cooperating; make that especially when the kids were not cooperating.

Another enviable trait that Matt demonstrated was his ability to tell stories. One evening he held a special storytelling night at the school. I remember one story in particular. It is a story from India and Pakistan called “The Gifts of Wali Dad.” In this story a poor man finds himself with more money than he needs to live on and uses it to buy a gift to give to the most noble woman in the land. Yet this small gift sets off a funny chain of events that is fueled by misunderstanding.

Matt is a marvelous storyteller and had the audience enchanted. I think that it was neat for the kids to see their teacher in a different role – and it gave Matt a chance to show off his acting skills (much like another actor of the same name!).

Today I brought a Dutch Apple pie to Matt to thank him for his role in my son’s education and to recognize the unique gifts that he brings to teaching.

Day 159: Grandparenting with Grace

12 Sep

Yesterday I saw a friend and her husband when I was out and I noticed that they were taking care of several of their grandchildren – on Grandparent’s Day! It seems to me that they have always taken care of family – for as long as I have known them. And even though their family has been through a lot over the past few years, they seem stronger than ever. I think that they must subscribe to the mantra “What does not kill me, makes me stronger” by Frederich Nietzsche.

How many of us have friends who have had to take on more than their share? I’d wager that there are many of us who can name several friends who have faced difficult times without complaining. And while it might be too much to ask us to share their burden, there might be things that we can do to help ease that burden from time to time.

Think of what you might do to help your friend: bring over a meal, pick up things at the store, share the bounty of your garden. Just taking the time to visit with someone for a few minutes and expressing admiration for what they have done (and continue to do) can work wonders. That sincere gesture can let your friend know that their efforts are recognized and appreciated. It just might give them the boost that they need to keep going.

In the past, I have dropped off “useful” goods for my friend to give to her family. Today I brought something decadent – a still-warm Dutch Apple Pie. I want her and her husband to know that I am proud to know them and that I am here to help if they ever need me.