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saying goodbye and gratitude

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January 3rd, marked the first year anniversary of this blog.   When I started this blog I imagined the day I would be able to say that I’d been doing this for one whole year.  I imagined lots of celebratory words and exclamation points in the post that would mark this important milestone.   Instead,  I have been contemplating whether I should even continue on with this blog.  You see, the day before Christmas eve my oldest and dearest friend lost her battle with cancer.  She had lived courageously with this disease for five years, all the while remaining herself and facing whatever future lay ahead for her.   When she died,  cooking food and taking pictures of food seemed frivolous in comparison.  A silly way for me to indulge myself by doing something I thought that I was good at.

I talk to myself quite often,  mostly when I am alone.  I ask myself questions that I don’t have answers to.  A question I have asked myself hundreds of times is ‘Why are we here?’   By “here”  I mean here on earth.  Why are we here?   When the moon is full and bright in the dark sky I stare at it and I am fascinated because it is not like some gigantic lollipop being held up by a stick that goes on forever.  That  perfect orb is floating in space the same as the Earth and thousands of other planets with nothing holding it up but gravity and possibly hope.  So I have to wonder we can’t possibly be  here on this beautiful planet to just get up in the morning, go to work or school and move about the day mindlessly only to lie down, get up and do it all over again.   What do each of us do every day to justify us being here on earth?  What am I doing besides taking up space?  How can I make my time here on earth more meaningful?  Because once you die that’s it, game over,  your time to do it here on earth is up.

How do we make our lives and the lives of others around us more meaningful?  What do you do everyday that’s worth the effort?   When I think like this that commercial comes to mind where one person held a door open for another person and then that person did something nice for another person and next thing you know it had started a long chain reaction of people being kind to one another.  If we each got up every morning and did a simple kind act for another person that person will pay it forward and so on and so on.

All I did after learning of my friends passing was cry and cook.  Cooking is very organic to me, a routine built into my life.  When I was cooking I didn’t cry.  At that time I hadn’t put up a post for the holidays and I didn’t know if and when I would be putting up another post,  it just seemed so unimportant at that time.  The only thing I could think was how I would never again hear my friend’s voice. 

Every once in a while a tiny part of me,  tucked deep in my soul called “the glass half empty” will raise its ugly head and  start me to thinking ” how can one person possibly make a difference?”  All the donations to charities and your fifty cents a day never seem to stop children from going hungry or diseases from ravaging a person’s body because sure enough no matter how much you give there will always be  someone new looking for your fifty cents a day.

No one who knows me calls me Kat.  When I go out and I see people I haven’t seen in many years and they call me Kat, I know it’s because they are following the blog.  The other day while in the library I met an old acquaintance who called me Kat but used to call me Kathy.  A while back in the supermarket I met a girl I used to work with,  she hugged me and told me how she loved the blog especially the stories and how one day she would try one of the recipes.  I respond like I always do by urging, and told her you can do it I know you can just start with the simplest recipe first.   These encounters always make me smile.  They make me feel like I am helping someone in some small way.   When I hadn’t put up a post in almost 2 weeks  I decided I at least owe my readers an explanation as to why I had been missing.   It was then I started to think of the  random encounters,  the e-mails of encouragement,  how people who hardly ever cooked and were know telling me that they tried a recipe, the pictures I receive of the recipes they have tried,  and right then I knew how it could start with one person.  When  I got my year-end blog review I saw that I have readers in Brazil, London and  even Australia!   So this blog will continue because of you,  my readers,  some of you who look everyday even when I have not  put up a new post and some who have searched the blog even before I have had my morning coffee.  As much as I can I will try and do something that makes a difference.  No matter how small.

The blogosphere can be a beautiful thing.  There are so many interesting people to read about.  I  recently came across The gratitude Project.  It is a movement where you are encouraged to look for the blessings surrounding you everyday.  In other words, stopping to smell the roses or even to stare at a beetle.  Some are taking photographs and some people are just recording what they see.  From this experience they say you will become happier and less stressed because you will recognize that every day there are blessings around you, no matter how small.   I love this idea and hope you will all join it with me and help spread the word. 

In the past few weeks I have been confronted with so much change,  some small and some that have shaken up my life.   The store I have worked at and that has brought extra meaning to my life will be closing as of January 15th.  For the last 4 1/2 years I have worked with a group of wonderful women at Williams Sonoma.  I can honestly say it never felt like I was going to work.  It felt like a get together with women that you love being around.  Women that I had the opportunity to learn so much from.  Women that I will miss dearly.  How often does anyone get lucky enough to say they love what they do and the people they do it with?

On Tuesday January 3 2012, we, Felicia’s  parents, brother, sister, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends said goodbye and laid her to rest.  There was much laughter and tears as we remembered Felicia.  I know I won’t stop crying anytime soon because she will be missed and not just by me.  I loved her and I will never forget her.

With the New Year will come many changes to the blog.  Besides cooking and stories I’d like to hear from all of you how we can make our lives better and the lives of those around us.  If we start small,  we can reach all one person at a time.  Happy New Year and many blessing, love Kat.

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About kathyme

Some things I know for sure: Every day is a gift-be surprised and thankful for each one. Every day we are given lessons that we should learn. We are here on earth to be kind to one another. All living things deserve respect. We should not ignore cultural differences but instead be curious enough to want to explore what makes us different in order to find a common thread. I know-that which does not kill you makes you stronger. I know that knowledge makes you blossom and ignorance hinders. I know you should do what you love. I know I love life on the best days and even more on the worst. I know a meal shared can bring neighbors and nations together. Mangia Come Pensi. Translation-Eat like you think. I am not full yet. Kat

12 responses »

  1. Kathy! OMG This is my first time reading your blog! This is amazing! I am soooo proud of you…I want to start cooking!!! I felt what you were saying and I have been thinking along the same lines…I want to make a difference Kathy and I am starting with me. I remember how close the four of us were, we had a lot of fun and a lot of memories…You guys made that part of growing up awesome! I don’t think I would change any of it…I miss her too Kathy…I wasn’t there for her like I wanted to be, but I can be here for you, Lorri and the rest my loved ones…One act of Kindness…I love your blog and again I am very proud of you and what you’re doing…you are a good friend…Love Ya….

    Reply
    • Hi Yvette! We did have good times didn’t we? Yvette I know it sounds silly but I didn’t want to do the blog anymore because it was something I loved to do and Felica she can’t do anything anymore. I know better and I know I’m feeling this way because everything is so fresh. Soon enough when I think of her it won’t be tears that come it will be laughter and smiles. Her family did an excellent job with the service. It felt so good to laugh. Love you and I will see you soon.

      Reply
  2. Kathy,

    I Love Your Blog and I Love Your Recipes, but most of all I love the story before the recipe. You know I can’t cook for nothing but everything that has not had NUTS in it, I
    have attempted to prepare..lol

    Felicia’s memory will live on and I know she loved you just as much as you love her. She had a beautiful spirit and I will never forget her laugh and how many times she was there for me. Especially when she had something funny to tell. I cry and laugh all in the same breath but I am happy, because I know we Shall meet again..

    Please keep on cooking Kat, it’s healing to and for all. I Love you all!

    Reply
    • Hi Lorri, I miss you so much. I will try to make a note of not so many recipes with nuts! lol. Let me tell you Lorri, she stayed Felicia to the end. When we’d talk on the phone and I’d aggravate her because I didn’t understand something she was trying to explain or I asked her one time too many “well what are you getting ready to do?” she’d quick fast turn into Verna and snap at me! That girl, she was an original. My sister and the kids came up for the service, I was so glad to see them. Love you girl!

      Reply
  3. Kira Davenport

    Dear Kathy,

    Your self reflection was written so beautifully. Although I did not know Felicia personally, I do know that you will always be a true friend to her. You are so lucky to have someone in your life to call a true friend. many people surround themselves with many yet none are truly a friend.

    Ever since I have known you, you have always mentioned Felicia. I know that you loved her very much. I also know that your spirits will meet again someday and that the days will get better. You will never forget Felicia, but you will get petter.

    I think your blog is a wonderful reflection of the fabulous person that you are. I think right now the blog is therapeutic for you but eventually will become fun again. I hope that you continue your blog, recipes, Kats in the kitchen etc. Just continue doing the things that make you happy. Continue to surround yourself with privacy and those that love you….happiness will come your way.

    I will see you soon Kathy…what about a Valentine’s cookie swap or just a cocktail during happy hour. Whatever makes you happy.

    Until then, keep writing, cooking, crying, remembering and grieving for your friend Felicia Avery who is not just your friend but your friend of your soul.

    Much love, blessings and support when you need it,

    Kira

    I think the gratitude project is something nice we can do, lets not wait. I am in.

    Reply
    • Thank you Kira, sometimes I feel so selfish because I just want her back. I will be fine. I think of her boys and how much she loved them. She was a great mother. A Valentines Day cookie swap sounds good, I miss the cookie swap. Thank you so much for supporting the blog. I’d like to use it as a way to help others, besides cooking. Now that the store is closing I will have more time to devote to it. We’ll definitely get together but Joanne will tell you she and I have been trying to get togeher for coffee for the last 3 years! lol

      Reply
      • Wow! I am relieved to know the outcome of blog had a positive ending. I was just starting to cook “real” food for my family. Felicia was a wonderful person that made a difference in my life and also my kids life. She always said “love you girl” when she ended our conversations or a text. I will miss her dearly also. I am glad she inspired you to stay because I need to learn how to make those “Asian hot wings” that had my lips flaming red and the buttery sweet potatoes that are still stuck to my gut. It is because of you that my kids are getting a fresh cooked meal 2 or 3 times a week, and when you shared your shrimp and grits recipe I have been cooking it every Sunday for breakfast ummm! So you know you have made a difference in the Simms house. They still would rather you cook for them. Anyway the world probably would be a better place if we all took the time to considered others by paying it forward. Yvette start with the shrimp and grits, ummm!…and with that, Kat keep up the good work with the blog. My goal is to cook for my family more than 3 times a week!

      • I’m glad you are utilizing that beautiful kitchen that most would kill for! Even though it was for such a sad event I’m super happy that I got to see you and my nieces and nephew for the holidays. Tell Krysi I’m still working on that restraining order.(heeheehee) Yes we all had to let out our pants a few notches after that New Years Eve dinner! Miraculously when I went to the doctor the other day she told me I was still the same weight I was 2 months ago. I think she was just trying to make me feel good. The “asian hot wings” recipe will come up soon I may have to change the name though-we’ll see. Love you girl. Fabulous Females Forever!

  4. Hi Kathy and all,
    I met Felisha during her battle with cancer a few years back around mothers day at Kathy’s house. Although I wasnt close to her, through Kathy and my friend Alice I knew what a friend you all had in her and she had in you all. Ive seen countless pictures over the holiday weekend and I seen what you all meant to one another. Reading the blogs today made me tear up. I’m glad you decided to keep posting. I want you to know that I’m so glad to have you be a part of my life and
    need you to know that when I lost my mother years a go I never
    dreamt of replacing her with another but when you came into my life
    you just fit in so organically and, that I am and will be honored to call
    you mom. I love you. To Karen I know it was Felishas passing that
    brought you up to NY, but I am glad we finally met. It felt just as
    natural and warm meeting/seeing you and your children , as when I met your sister. I am looking forward to knowing you better in the years
    to come. And I agree with you on the shrimp and grits. The first time
    your sister put them on the blog it was at my house she made them. It
    was a Sunday and Jerrome had a football game. I was just driving and
    eating on my way to the game and since then I have been hooked!
    I think we all could aspire to have a relationship like the Fabulous Females shared. And the friendship and sisterly bond that Kathy & Karen share miles away even, You all are truly blessed to know love and friendship you know.
    ~Zendora~

    Reply
    • Zendora, words cannot express how proud I am that my son found someone as wonderful as you. I breath easy knowing the two of you have each other. You know I already think of you as a daughter and though I can never replace your mom I am honored to watch over you in her absence. I know you fit right in because you survived the craziness of my family without blinking and saying woowwww. Lol. Believe me Felicia was special.

      Sent from my iPhone

      Reply
  5. What a very brave, honest and beautiful post this is. I am so sorry for the loss of your very dear friend. Tough times for you and all who loved her. Keep cooking, keep smiling, keep blogging. Take care.

    Reply
    • Thank you CA for taking the time and sending your condolences. Felicia and I were friends since we were eleven years old. She was godmother to my daughter and my family misses her terribly.

      Reply

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