My father used to say, you never know when your time is up.
A dear, dear friend of mine collapsed while taking a shower Tuesday morning and died. Just like that. What started as a normal morning, waking her kids for school and getting herself ready for work, has turned the whole world upside down for so many people she knew. I had a meeting and lunch scheduled with her that very day. Our friendship spans the past 35 years, way before husbands and any kids. This has been shocking and unreal.
So tragic, so young and she leaves a wonderful husband, eleven-year old twins (boy and girl) and another son who’s 15.
But as everyone said this morning at her funeral, she lived life to the fullest. Engaging and full of energy, she also loved to cook and entertain. Throwing a dinner party for 35 and more, every holiday was the norm for her.
Together, in the 80’s, with our wide shoulder pads at work, we both cooked our way through the Silver Palate Cookbooks at home, comparing and discussing recipes.
We were both good little Midwest Christian girls who married East Coast Jewish boys. Early in our marriages, we talked about writing a cookbook together – titled: “So you married a nice Jewish boy, now what?” with tips like, don’t even think of serving ham to the in-laws at any time. And green beans with meat at Passover won’t do either, although that one I never understood.
The only lesson I can get out of this tragedy is to tell everyone you love that you love them and do it often. See your friends and family more often. Make the time. I found myself making lunch dates for next week with friends I hadn’t seen in a while. After all, your friends are your family that you choose. Be together, cook for them, gather around the table and celebrate life to the fullest, each and every day.