I have started this new year feeling better about myself than I have in a very long time, maybe ever. The scale still hovers around the same number, the grey hairs seem to multiply exponentially while I sleep and the lines around my eyes seem to be getting deeper. But those lines around my eyes are being etched further into my skin because my smile seems to be a permanent fixture on my face.
I will be the first to admit that I have never spent much time volunteering for anything. Sure, I jumped on the “pay it forward” bandwagon and I have even blogged about that very phenomenon. But there is something much more rewarding about really putting in the time to help someone rather than just buying a coffee for the person in line behind you.
What began as helping a friend, who is currently tackling an undiagnosed medical issue, spiraled into a concept that is slowly growing into something I am becoming very passionate about. It combines two of the things that I hold near to my heart – cooking and being able to help people.
Some of my blogs over the last few weeks have alluded to the Sundays we have spent cooking in the kitchen of the family resort where I am employed. We have successfully sent almost twenty freezer slow-cooker meals to a young family who lost their home in a fire just after delivering twins, and we are gearing up to do it again this Sunday to add ten more meals to their freezer. In a few short hours in the span of three Sundays, we have provided a month’s worth of dinners, giving them more time to devote to their children and their next step rather than having to think of what to cook each night.
I also had the pleasure of delivering the first of those meals to my very dear friend on Friday, the friend who inspired this journey. Just knowing that I can alleviate the tiniest bit of his stress pays me in ways that I never thought possible. It is a very emotional feeling and, even as I write this, it brings tears to my eyes.
I have watched them before. I have seen volunteers many times and noticed the light in their eyes but, until now, I had never really understood the source of that light. I get it now….and it is a light that I would like to have continue shining in my eyes for a very long time.