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A Freezer Filled with Food by Friends 02-20-2007 - 06:00 PM
There are truly some extraordinary people in the world, who seem to always manage to “step up to the plate” to help others, with seemingly no regard to their own challenges that may be going on. While other people might say, “Gee, I’d like to help…but I’m too busy, or too sick myself, or too encumbered by one thing or another,” these special individuals simply see a need, and then just go ahead and “do it.” They don’t just “talk about” doing it, draw attention to their good deeds, or make a big deal about it…they just do it. My friend, Sharon, who I have known since junior high school, and who still lives in my little hometown, is one of these people. Her thoughtfulness and kindness rise to a level rarely experienced in this day and age.

I was hospitalized for a week at the end of January for a colon resection due to stage 3 colon cancer, which had been diagnosed just ten days earlier. Everything regarding my illness transpired quite fast, and, under the circumstances, I really didn’t have the wherewithal to give consideration to my “early recovery at home” days…so stocking my freezer ahead of time with home-made, ready-to-bake entrees was not among my concerns. Until I began to feel better post-operatively and could cook again, I figured that my husband and I could easily “get by” indulging in canned soups, sandwiches, take-out deli items, and commercially-prepared frozen entrees like lasagna, pot pies, etc., that he could put in the oven, set a timer, and "plate up" for me. Certainly, to my palate, nothing is as tasty (or likely as healthy) as “homemade” food, but after having received a cancer diagnosis “out of the blue,” what I was going to eat after I got home was the least of my worries.

While I was in the hospital, and after I returned home, I received a tremendous outpouring of support from many, many friends and relatives in the form of phone calls, greeting cards and floral deliveries, and every one of these gestures meant a great deal to my husband and me. It seems that I am blessed to have many “angels in human form” in my orbit. But perhaps the most selfless gesture of all took place a couple of days before Valentine’s Day. My Mom phoned me and said excitedly, “Sharon is bringing me to your house tomorrow afternoon to see you!” I hadn’t seen my Mom since my surgery, because she is 81 years old and doesn’t drive anymore outside of her little hometown area…which is over an hour away from my house. I know my Mom was very, very worried about me and I was so glad to hear that Sharon had contacted her, and was sacrificing an afternoon of work (she co-owns a home decorating company) to bring my Mom to see me. Mom said she was bringing a plate of Valentine’s Day decorated cupcakes and cookies, and I told her I’d prepare a pot of coffee, and we would sit at the table and indulge in sweet goodies and have a nice visit.

When the day arrived, I opened the front door to see Mom and Sharon standing on the front deck, alongside a gigantic cooler. It turns out that Sharon had not only prepared several “freezer entrees” and other food items herself, but she had also recruited two of our other female hometown friends/classmates to do so, too. So, with no flashy grand announcement, she simply showed up at my house and loaded my freezer with homemade chow mein casserole, chicken enchiladas, barbequed beef and buns, taco soup, orange bran muffins, chocolate-frosted peanut butter cornflake bars…and more -- prepared with love by those who learned that they have a friend in trouble.

Not only was it great to see my mother, it was also great to see my dear friend. Sharon was diagnosed with breast cancer in April of last year, underwent surgery, and only recently completed several months of chemotherapy, followed by many weeks of radiation sessions. The last time I saw her, in November, she was “still bald.” Now her thick-and-spikey salt-and-pepper hair has grown back and she recently has been able to resume working -- meeting with customers, painting walls and hanging paper. She has endured
tough times herself in the last year, yet it seems as though nothing can stop her from giving and giving and giving of herself to others. She is truly an inspiration to me and she always will be. What a gal!

sisterof3 said at 02-20-2007 - 06:08 PM
that is what is so important..noone expects it in return,and theycome to you as firends not out of comitment..how special it is to have lovingfirneds and family...
my mom had colon cancer threeyears ago.andsofariscancer free,,, iprayfor you to have the smae cancer free results ...bless you ,and get well soon.


msmonih said at 02-20-2007 - 06:35 PM
Like Mommy and I said when my Father passed... Daddy never really got to see how many people truly loved him. The church was standing room only for his memorial service. So many people came to the aid of my Mommy and I after my Father died. We didn't have to ask, friends did it without being prompted or asked. Good things happen to those that look out for others. Your friend paid it forward for herself and you all were the lucky beneficiares. Heal up well, may you have an uneventful recovery. You are always in my prayers. Monica


preciouspearl said at 02-20-2007 - 06:56 PM
I'm just smiling all over thinking about you being taken care of like this. What a truly kind and considerate friend you have. Bringing your mother to see you was such a nice idea too.
I hope the good food and lots of pampering will have you feeling better soon.


carolinez said at 02-20-2007 - 08:16 PM
(((Carmen))) What a wonderful friend you have, to get your mom and bring homecooked meals. She sounds like an angel, it is nice to hear of the generosity of others. Thanks for sharing with us. I am sending lots of hugs and best wishes, Carol


diverchick said at 02-20-2007 - 09:40 PM
What a wonderful mom and friend! How great a gift. Best of luck to you with your cancer, and to your friend with her cancer. And.... enjoy those meals, they sound yummy! Hugs!


mjd2491 said at 02-20-2007 - 09:51 PM
I'm just sitting here grinning thinking about the expression that must have been on your face when you opened the door to see your mom, (((Sharon))) and the entire inventory of the local Byerly's store waiting for you, already cooked. What a great story.


SkinnyDipr said at 02-21-2007 - 12:11 AM
People really are good, I love warm fuzzy stories. Thanks for sharing.

Familial polyposis runs in our family, it is a scary thing. We just keep going forward, amazing the strength we find in ourselves.



Brisa.uk said at 02-21-2007 - 03:34 AM
Isn't it wonderful when someone does something so supportive and caring?! How fantastic! Just remember that to get a friend like that, you must be an awesome friend yourself. Hope the recovery is going well. Take good care and save me some of those cornflake bars! <drool> Clare xx





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