Monday, January 28, 2008

Operation Homefront and Operation Santa

Whew, is all I can really say. I worked my ass off last week. And before you go any further, if you don't want to be depressed, you might want to stop reading now.
A neighbor of mine runs the Operation Santa and Operation Homefront on Fort Dix and McGuire AFB. She is a very nice woman...the tough-as-nails-broad type. Doesn't take crap from anyone and is willing to do anything to help someone out in a heartbeat. So, I felt I needed to do the same for her. She has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer on the outside of her throat. Knowing that she would be starting chemo and radiation soon, I offered to help her at the "building" (where both Operations are run out of). She jumped at the chance for help. This time of year is almost busier then Christmas, since stores donate their leftover clearance stuff that didn't sell. Toys, stuffed animals, books, etc. You wouldn't believe the amount of stuff. I took my son with me and he was in heaven. They also have used toys that are donated for other families that might need things on the base, but most of it is new. Everything old gets washed and we have a group of prisoners that come in to help. I busted my butt. Sorted books, arranged toys by age and type of toy, organized, organized and organized. It was an exhausting week, but I left feeling really good because we got most of it done. I felt like I had worked off the little gifts she's constantly leaving at the door for the kids. She's probably in her 60's and has 2 daughters who don't appreciate her at all. It's sad. This is Cancer instance #1.
Saturday afternoon, there's a knock at my door. There stands my favorite customer. I had not heard from her since Thanksgiving and I truly felt that something was wrong. She'd sometimes stop by, just to drop off cooking articles, goodies for the kids or neat old cookbooks (I collect old and antique cookbooks). Her mother happened to be a Home Ec. teacher back in the day. Well, as it happens, she lives with her partner (and they're in they're 60's, easily) and they're very cool ladies. As it turns out, a week before Christmas, her partner had a massive infection in her body, that paralyzed and she almost died. Good news is, she's home and on the mend. Bad news is that My Customer has 3 large tumors on the lymph nodes in her neck. Not a good outlook, says she. I am crushed. Whenever she calls, I know exactly what she'll want. Lemon cake with lemon curd filling and and lemon curd whipped cream, or my award winning cheesecake covered in ganache. And here it is : Cancer instance #2.
Lastly My Aunt in Canada was on her deathbed a few months ago, with you guessed it, cancer. Leukemia. Thankfully, she is in remission now, although they're not expecting it to last long.
WHY??? WHY??? WHY????? It's everywhere and this week it's got me down a bit. I found 2 lumps. THANKFULLY, they're nothing. I hate it. The ones who most certainly do not deserve to get it do. Not that anyone deserves to get Cancer, but some people are just angels that you'd expect to coast through with their health. I need to get out of this funk.....

11 comments:

Momo Fali said...

I think it's all the chemical CRAP we have in our lives. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not all Miss Tree-Hugger, but I recently thought about when I was a kid and all the houses on my street were getting chemical lawn treatments...and there were NO warnings. We kids would run around barefoot in that grass, roll in it, even put blades of it in our mouths (flashback Hee Haw). That just can't be good.

I am wishing all the people in your life well.

Michael C said...

That is a very sad set of circumstances. Maybe you encountered all 3 because through friendship and kindness you have something to offer them, if even for a brief moment. I always think things to happen for a reason. Hang in there and I'll be thinking good thoughts for your friends.

chefmom said...

Momo: THAT IS SO WEIRD!! When I found my lumps, that was my first thought. My Mom had Non-Hodgkins lymphoma 13 years ago, and she always makes reference to exactly that. We were always barefoot and making whistles out of blades of chemically treated grass. Thanks for the well wishes. I'm hoping this is one of those "it comes in 3's" moment, and no one else around me gets it.

Michael C: I'm a big believer in the fact that things happen for a reason. I know cancer touches everyone in some way, but it's sometimes overwhelming when you're surrounded by it. I will do what I do best and cook and bake my heart out for them!

Michael C said...

And you know that will be very appreciated! Sadly, my cooking MAKES people sick, so I am no help there! ;-)

You are such a good person for being there for those that need it!!

meleah rebeccah said...

Oh Honey. You are such a WONDERFUL woman. You are an amazing giver with w heart of gold. This post didnt depress me as much as it did inspire me...Thank you for sharing this with us.

chefmom said...

michael c: I'm sure that if your involves cheese, you great!!

Meleah: Honestly, you brought me to tears. I try, really I do. I'm not a religious person, but I'm a firm believer in "Do unto others and you would want them to do for you". If you only knew the struggles we've been having of late. I want to know why, Haven't I been rewarded with something positive? That's for a whole nother post, and I don't know if I can put those raw feelings out there without sounding like I'm complaining....Thanks for the support :)

Meleah Rebeccah said...

"I want to know why, Haven't I been rewarded with something positive?" ....


Oh god I feel like that ALL the time.

Not to worry my dear, I have a feeling your rewards will be HUGE thus take longer to arrive.

someGirl said...

I seriously would have kicked some "lump" ass, Chuck Norris style, if anything were to have happened to my first blogging buddy...
How frightning, I am relieved that everything is OK.

And ditto with MEL'S sentiment, you are a great person. Your just rewards will happen soon enough...My personal mantra is "KARMA always remembers...but it's not exactly punctual" There is always a sense that the bad stuff lingers and re-occurs, but that's because it's heavier to carry and endure. The good stuff is always in small doses...It will come full circle, eventually.

And if all else fails, I will share my Lottery winnings (assuming I win, of course)What color sports car would you like?

someGirl said...

PS: IT IS ALMONST LOST THURSDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


(im really excited)

someGirl said...

......did you see the funny (and caffinated) 8 min 15 sec (815, get it?!) recap of all 3 seasons of LOST on abc.com??? It's good for a tummy giggle...

chefmom said...

Somegirl: Thanks! AAAWWW you going all Chuck Norris on my Lumps, got me all vaklempt! And You know I would the same for you, as you too are my first blogging buddy. And we have LOST to thank for it. ANd I love your Mantra!! Can I borrow it for a little while? ANd a nice blue car would be great!!
I haven't seen the 8 min 15 sec. clip, I'm rushing over there now to watch it. Don't forget about the recap show tonight. I'm so glad they're doing it since it's been 8 MONTHS since the last episode.