I’m blessed to have a friend who has always seen a better version of me than I see in myself.
It’s said that we are the mistresses of our misery, and through the years, I’ve tried to live up to the standards of the woman she thinks I am, usually missing the mark. This special friend, however, has always helped me find the silver lining in myself, and in the world. She’s a perpetual up, and these days it’s my turn to help her.
We met in the food industry some twenty years back. Our love and fascination with food and wine pairings were the initial catalysts of a friendship that has bloomed into something quite lovely through the years.
Of late, she has become gravely ill. Not in pain, as she is quick to note (she’s never been one to complain) but profoundly tired. Her appetite, however, has not diminished and a well-prepared dish is a treat in which she can look forward to eating.
Popular culture tells us to “embrace the moment”. But what if the moment isn’t necessarily pleasant? Sometimes, isn’t looking forward to something the very something that helps us get by?
Friendship means caring, and how we care tells us a lot about ourselves. Caring for friends, family, neighbors, and for the people in our communities can be exhibited in a myriad of ways. When people feel cared for, they feel loved, secure and safe.
How we care is unique to us and the opportunities that present themselves. In this situation, for instance, my friend chooses an appealing recipe, I make it and deliver it to her home. I love to cook, she can enjoy the pleasures of anticipation and eating, so this is a win-win.
Yesterday, she selected a Blue Apron recipe she found in the New York Times for Crispy Brown Gnocchi with Meyer Lemon and Brussels Sprouts. The results were so so delicious, I’ve decided it will be my side-dish alongside a roast for Christmas Eve dinner. (I doubled the recipe.)
Her husband was working from home, and I dropped it off. I’m fairly certain they will find it yummy, and I look forward to cooking the next recipe that strikes her fancy.
In the front matter of THE RUBY OF THE SEA, I dedicate the book to this woman, so dear to my heart. It immediately proceeds the epigram, which is a favorite quote from Mother Teresa:
“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to one another.”
Yesterday, I showed the dedication and epigram to my friend. It pleases both of us that the pages are flattened together when the book is closed. Who inspires you to be your better self? I’d love to know.
Oh. And by the way. Some of you have mentioned to me that you’ve pre-ordered the Kindle version of THE RUBY OF THE SEA, which is so very much appreciated. Could you e-mail me @ firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on FB? I have a little something-something I’d like to send your way in gratitude. The Kindle version is $3.99, will appear in your e-mail on Feb. 6, (Pub day), and it helps the Google-bots find me (-:
Looking for festive recipes? Tap the Holiday Ball in the right-hand column, which directs you to the Holiday Cookbook. Have a lovely holiday, and take that second helping of caring!