I recently had a discussion with my daughters about friendship. It’s hard to explain to an 11 year-old that friendships ebb and flow, and more importantly, that if you keep your heart open you will continue to make new friends throughout your life.
Some of your friends will stick. Some won’t. And that’s okay. It doesn’t diminish the power of the friendship you had in that time of your life.
If you’re lucky you will have one or two great friends. If you’re really lucky you will continue to stumble upon those rare people with whom you immediately click – the ones that maybe make you believe in past lives – in all phases of your life. The ones that feel like family.
I have been that lucky, and I know how special and rare it is.
When my daughters were born I was the only one of my friends to have a baby (babies!). My cousin, with whom I am extremely close, also had a baby, just a few week before me, but she lived in Michigan. So aside from talking on the phone all the time, I didn’t have “mom” friends. And, because I had twins, the thought of schlepping to baby groups between pumping, and feeding, and changing, and wrapping them up to take naps – while also being social in some carpeted basement of the Y, was really more than I could bear.
So, I was nervous when my girls finally started preschool and there were all of these other MOMs. And, most of the time, it was just me and the nannies. I seemed to be the only stay at home mom on the Upper West Side – but really it was just the blur of drop off and separation that made it seem so. Eventually, I met the other moms – at the school auction, at the endless school parties, at playdates. And I don’t know how it happened, but I met some of the best women I will ever know. I am still amazed that we were all randomly put into this 2 morning a week class together.
One of these women was Shari Brooks. And while there are a lot of things I could list about Shari that make her, well, her – there is one that tops the list – Shari is a Do-er, not because she wants recognition, and not because she’s keeping a mental tab in her mind of what someone now owes her, but because she really, really has a heart and mind that just go there. She is continually thinking about what is the right thing to do, the best way to do it, and then just doing it. It’s not Type A, it’s Type A to Z. She’s got it covered.
Knowing Shari like I do, it was not surprising to me that she turned her energy towards creating something positive out of the loss of her mom Judy from metastatic breast cancer five years ago. I feel incredibly lucky that Shari entered my life at a time when I could get to know her mom, even though her mom was sick from almost the moment I met her. I have never wondered where Shari gets her energy and love of life from because I saw it firsthand in her mom. Even at her frailest, after years of ongoing chemo and radiation, Judy would come up on the train from Baltimore – by herself! – to spend time with her grandkids, just be with her family and share more experiences.
A while after Judy passed, Shari started an amazing blog called My Judy the Foodie, where she has kept her mom’s memory alive through her mom’s recipes and special meals. When I met Shari she literally couldn’t boil water. I once watched her throw pasta into a pot of cold water and then turn it on. No joke. So to watch Shari teach herself to cook through doing, and then through sharing, all the while keeping her mom’s memory alive for her kids, and really everyone, has been a real revelation.
Now Shari has teamed up with her equally awesome sister to create another endeavor that will honor Judy and advance the cause of breast cancer research, Bake it Happen (aka Bananas for Boobies, which if you know Shari makes perfect sense, but Facebook doesn’t know Shari that well so they didn’t like it).
This is no 26 mile marathon where you must exhaust yourself to prove you care. This is not pinkwashing to make companies look like they care. This is a very basic way to share purpose and care.
- Bake a loaf, or two or three, of Judy’s amazing banana chocolate chip loaf.
- Take a pic of your fabulous creation.
- Then share it on Facebook or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Then share a loaf in real life. Take a pic of that too!
- You could win an iPad!
Every time a photo is shared a dollar is donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Here’s how we baked it happen last weekend:
See? Simple, delicious, and meaningful. Just like good friends.
Head on over now to Bananas For Boobies and Bake it Happen!!!