I want to say thank you for the incredible amount of support and love you have shown my family this past week.  It has come from so many unexpected places and has been very touching.  Words do not convey how appreciative I am for your support, thoughts, and love that you have sent us.  Your emails, phone calls and text messages have been so helpful…it makes me tear up just thinking about how much love is swirling around out there.  It is amazing.

I talked to Melissa on Monday, and I felt much better after hearing her voice.  My parents and youngest sister Emily are in Seattle now, so they’ll be able to take care of them.  Some things like walking the dog or cleaning the kitchen are just really tough when you can’t focus or leave the house.  Hell, cleaning my kitchen is hard enough on its own!  But I feel a million times better knowing that my family is there.  It really is hard to help from so far away; I just didn’t know what to do or how I could help.

In the south, we cook in times of tragedy, and now I understand!  Melissa and Jacob are tired of eating out, but they’re too exhausted to go to the grocery store and fix anything at home.  Casseroles are comforting.  You can heat up and eat as much or as little as you want with little effort.  And now my mom can make all the casseroles their little hearts desire.

In the future, I’m going to make more casseroles for people who need them.  I’ll figure out how to make them*…that’s what Campbell’s soups are for, right?  It’s always hard to know what to do for people: when to give them space, when to push a little harder to get them out of the house, when to check in and how frequently.  But now I’m going to make casseroles and put them on their front door and just give them a home cooked meal.

Mom's casseroles sound so good right now.

Mom's casseroles sound so good right now.

Unfortunately, so many of my friends are not in DC.  For them, I’m going to call.  I’m a horrible phone person, but it isn’t about me.  And even if I pick up the phone to call and all you hear is tears on the other end of the line, well, that’s what you’ll get.  When Cosette called on Monday night just to cry, damn, that felt really good.  Thanks, Cosette.  I’m going to take your lead and pay it forward one day (others have called, and I thank you and take your lead, too).

On the other hand, if you need a casserole or a call, just ask, okay?  It’s hard to know what people need, in rough times or in good times.  I ask that you help me be the best friend to you as I can.  I admit, I’m not always the best friend to some people, and my life is so filled with activities that it’s hard to squeeze in the important things.  Don’t let me do that, okay?


*I should figure out how to make a signature casserole dish so I don’t accidentally hurt anyone with my cooking.  The problem with casseroles is that you can tell when a test bite has been taken out.  I guess I can keep to the recipes that mush everything together and you can’t tell.  Those are the best tasting anyway.

  1. #1 by Mike on December 23, 2010 - 2:04 am

    Delivery. It’s not just DiGiorno.

  2. #2 by Bonnie Belk on December 23, 2010 - 8:50 am

    Hmmmm. I think I know where you can get recipes.

    And it is true – I know. Nothing teaches you more about being a good friend than being on the receiving end of kindnesses offered in a time of genuine need. Unfortunately, it takes being in a bad position to get that lesson; but once learned, it’s not easily forgotten.

    Expect a simple, ravioli “casserole” for dinner.

  3. #3 by Alaina on December 26, 2010 - 3:23 am

    I’m working on my Red Beans and Rice dish….”This is in the freezes beautifully section of my cookbook, and I wanted to bring something that freezes beautifully.” Annelle from Steel Magnolias.

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