As I begin this new venture I think it's important to remind myself as well as inform you all how this whole business idea came about. Let me start by explaining my personality, I’ll be the first to admit that I put up a strong front, a shield if you will, to hide my vulnerabilities. But, I internalize things very differently and deep down I am a very sincere and compassionate person. Core memories stay with me, like the airplane ride to my grandmothers funeral when I was 9 years old, when a rainbow appeared to surround our planes fuselage as we descended in a thunderstorm, or the elementary school classmate that passed away during a heart procedure when I was in second grade, the high school classmate that passed away in a terrible car accident that my mother and I drove by not realizing it was her and the haunting sequence of our family dog Daisy, falling into a seizure and taking her last breaths in my arms while my two human babies watched. I can normalize over time from these events but I will never forget them and they have a profound effect on my personal growth.
In January 2015 a high school classmate of mine that I kept in touch with on Facebook started writing posts about how crappy he felt from having the flu. We weren’t close friends but he was a wonderful father to two young boys, about my kids ages, and had a sweet wife that loved him dearly. He would post the sweetest videos of his boys playing hockey and document the life of his family often and sincerely. As his flu progressed his wife took over his page suddenly announcing that her husbands health had taken a sudden turn and he was hospitalized, fighting for his life. Within a few days she was posting updates, shocked, that her young husband had passed. Now, let me pause to put the depth of these events into perspective, a young father is perfectly healthy and sharing Christmas videos of his family and 3 weeks later he is dead, leaving behind a young, shell-shocked family…ya’ll I just can’t even fathom. A Go Fund Me page was set up and I donated to it, meals were coordinated but I didn’t live in town and I couldn't for the life of me find a way to get a prepared meal to them. But, all that aside, a meal, a donation, it doesn’t even seem like enough. I felt like I needed to move in for a month and get her kids dressed and off to school, and do the laundry and the dishes and bath time and bed time because please someone tell me how you are supposed to grieve the sudden, shocking loss of your spouse while your life goes on? How are you supposed to help your children process this loss when you yourself haven’t even had a chance to process it? How do you have time to work out all of the details of funeral arrangements and life insurance and wills and trusts when you still have daily responsibilities? It wouldn’t have been appropriate for me to help in that type of way to a stranger, they had family who I am sure was helping in that way, but the inability to send a meal sincerely bothered me.
Later that year I started following a Facebook prayer page of an inspirational mother with an admirable following. Learning more about this family’s day to day life opened my eyes to what it was like to live in a family with a kiddo that had a chronic health condition, that could, at any moment mean a terrifying, extended stay in a Children’s Hospital. It made me so thankful for the overall health of my own family and how lucky I was, that even though we had our fair share of ER visits, hospital stays, and minor surgeries, we were blessed with good health and treatable medical conditions. She would encourage her followers to pay-it-forward. Through her I was introduced to the Ronald McDonald House and I started volunteering there to make dinner for the families that were staying at our local Richmond Ronald McDonald House while their children receive treatment at our local facilities.
Now we’re to November 2015, and as I touched on in the opening, we suffered the sudden loss of our 7 year-old sweet yellow Labrador Daisy, who was effectively, my husband and I’s first child. The grief was consuming and I lost the motivation to do normal daily tasks like prepare meals for myself and my family. It was the holiday season and I found myself down on the whole commercialization of Christmas and all of the “things” we buy, when all I really wanted was something that I could not purchase. I realized how much I cherished all of the cards that people sent and the treats our friends and neighbors brought by to show their support and make us feel better. It meant the world to us. It was this turning point that made me realize the idea for Support Suppers needed to be nurtured and I had to at least try to make it happen because I am sure I am not the only one who has ever wished to send a meal of support where my busy daily life or geographic location made it impossible to do so.
The mission of Support Suppers is to give people a way to support friends, family and neighbors in the Richmond area with a complete meal that is hot, ready to serve and easy to clean up. It is designed with thoughtful touches, like the stylish reusable cooler bag it's delivered in, fabric-covered mason jars containing our homemade dressings and spreads, fun drinks, ribbon-tied cards and place settings, all to try a bring a smile to the face of someone who just needs an escape from the reality of their situation and a chance to just sit down with loved ones in the comfort of their own home and enjoy a delicious meal that they didn’t have cook or clean up. There are so many times when life overwhelms us that the possibilities are endless. There are the obvious occasions, new baby or a move to a new home, recovery from a surgery or illness or grief from a death, or job/relationship loss. But there are also times like when my husband goes out of town for work and I have to take care of the kids and the household responsibilities all on my own, or the friend who may be struggling with postpartum depression long after the new baby arrives, or the pregnant friend just put on the dreaded bed rest. There are so many ways times that a show of support can turn an otherwise stressful situation into a more tolerable one. Support Suppers is here to make it easier for you to show your support.