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Comfort Food: The Book in Progress

When my husband left the house on an unusually warm Christmas Eve morning to go bicycling, I had no idea that by noon my life would be forever changed.

I was a happily married woman with two teenage sons and a yellow lab named Jake. I lived what some would call a “normal” quiet life in the suburbs, regularly volunteering in school PTA,  keeping busy with my sons’ activities and managing my household. My family was the focus of my life. Twenty-two years of marriage and two kids to manage left me little time to connect to girlfriends in a meaningful way. Because I was distracted by so many other things, the circle I drew around herself was small and friendships fell into the background of my life.

When my husband died suddenly, my “normal” life underwent a radical transformation. I took inventory of myself, my relationships and my place in the world. Tragedy set the process of metamorphosis in motion.

The relationships outside my four walls quickly became important. I was embraced and comforted by a large number of friends, neighbors and members of the community who showed their love and support by bringing food, words of comfort and helpful hands to me and my sons. I believe these relationships enabled me to heal and move forward, as with each gift of support, a new relationship was formed or an existing one deepened. In addition to the food, these relationships brought insights to characteristics I needed to develop or expand. Because of my experience, I want to share the vital lesson I learned: Good friends can renew, restore and revitalize the spirit.

I share this insight with others through my workshop The Five Essential Friendships That Enrich Our Lives. I have conducted this workshop at Back to Basics Nutrition and Dietary Shoppe, The Yoga Whole Studio, PEO Luncheon and various public libraries in southwestern Pennsylvania.

I am currently working on a manuscript Comfort Food – One Woman’s Journey to Understand the Meaning and Significance of Friendship. In this forthcoming work, I explore the many valuable lessons I learned from those who supported me.