Today was a special day. We were pleasantly surprised this weekend with a Thank You note addressed to Corey. The author of the note was grateful that her mother, who is suffering from dementia, received one of Corey’s soup bowls. Her mother has difficulty sequencing and can no longer cook. She thoroughly enjoyed Corey’s soup. Today we received another note. This was from a woman whose father-in-law, 90, received Corey’s Lasagna roll ups. He also enjoyed his dinner. The woman wrote to Corey not only to thank her but to let her know that she will continue to pray that Corey’s new ministry of feeding those in need continues and she wanted her to know that the food she provides is a blessing to others.
These notes were unexpected and very touching. Corey loved hearing these words of gratitude. The thank you notes reminded me of how Corey’s decision to study culinary arts and her love for cooking came about. It is best described in her college entrance essay ~
~ Allow me to introduce you to a very influential man in my life; he goes by the name of JohnPaul. Not the Pope, my brother. First you should know that my brother is horrible at cooking, he lives off of turkey sandwiches and cheerios. And while I’m embarrassed to say, he also microwaves his waffles. Nonetheless, he is the number one reason I know that my body and soul belongs in a kitchen. But I didn’t always know that.
~ Ever since I was a young girl I aspired to be a doctor. I wanted to spend my days taking care of children with cancer. When I entered high school I knew I needed to double up on science and math classes to obtain my goal. After a strong freshman year I headed into sophomore year my confidence only to be squelched. I had a bit of a “personality conflict” with my math teacher. After battling tests and quizzes all year, my mom finally made a phone call only to hear him say that ‘I was a lost cause’ and that he had given up on teaching me. Shocked and distraught I didn’t know what to do. I knew I would have to repeat the class, and I knew I would have math in my life forever as a doctor and no longer wanted anything to do with it. This is when I remembered a vastly different and yet similar situation that happened to my brother his sophomore year of high school.
~ JohnPaul was a star football player, hoping to go to school on a football scholarship to play ball and figure out what to do in life later when the time came. This was until of course he was in a football accident injuring both of his shoulders allowing him to no longer play football. Now you have a devastated young boy with nothing to devote him self to. This was when JohnPaul bought his first guitar. JohnPaul taught himself to play the guitar and soared, creating his own band, getting highered for gigs; going to school for music and 8 years later now holds a job with the University he attended.
~ By being with my brother throughout this experience it helped me to realize that sometimes you have to do what you love. Yes I wanted to be a doctor, but it wasn’t in the cards for me, I love to cook. In my eyes food makes people happy, it allows family and friends to gather around and have a great time. Why not be the one to provide that happiness? Upon that realization I applied to a technical school and was accepted, from that day forth I knew that in a kitchen was where I belonged.
~ I was blessed with a gift, I can cook. But I have not yet begun to master that gift. With the help from my brother pointing me in the right direction, the chefs and Johnson & Wales, I believe that one day I could be a great chef as well.
When we decided to donate Corey’s entrée’s to the community, we never thought of it as a ministry. It was inspired by her love to cook; and as she wrote, ‘food makes people happy. Why not be the one to provide that happiness’? It is also our way of saying Thank You to all the people in our community that have given us the help we need right now. My mother used to remind me of how important it was to give to others. She’d use the following as an example, ‘A widow doesn’t need your support in the first year. She needs your love, friendship and support beginning in the second year’.
How true! Life does move on just as it should, but there is another important lesson here. Just as Corey recognized that doing what you love will help others when you give of yourself, we also are reminded daily that whatever it is you’re interested in, it should happen Today…tomorrow is promised to no-one.
Ironically, I received an email chain letter from one of my girlfriends today. We’ve all received those and often times we just dismiss them. Prior to my hitting the delete button, I skimmed the note and stopped at a few sentences that truly made me think of where we are in life right now. I appreciate the following…I’m glad I waited to hit delete;
~ Never save something for a special occasion. Every day in your life is a special occasion.
~ Spend more time with family and less at work.
~ Read more and clean less.
~ Use your crystal glasses and good dishes every day.
~ “Some day” and “One day” should fade from your vocabulary.
~ Don’t regret not doing the small things because you couldn’t find the time to do them.
~ When you give to others, you actually receive the greatest gifts.
Corey you told me a few weeks ago, Love Life. Yes I was reminded to appreciate the list above, but you have taught me the most important lesson; how to ‘Live Today’!
Thank you, xoxo