Life Event Lasagna

There is nothing to put life into perspective like lasagna. This weekend, I made a double batch. It hit me pretty profoundly. I. Am. So. Lucky. I need to count my blessings, hug my kids, broadcast my admiration for the amazing people I work with each day, announce to my network and community how much I appreciate you,  and shout to my friends how grateful I am for each and every single one of you  — so much more than you know.

Life Event Lasagna is a chicken, ham and mushroom lasagna that I make for people in my circle who have a major life event. Sometimes it is happy news, like a new baby. Sometimes it is a trying time, like a surgery. And sometimes, it is heart-wrenching news that makes me stop and realize how precious and fragile life is. My double batch weekend was two heart-wrenching situations.

So, as I write this, it is putting my own setbacks into perspective. The past three months I have had a few medical issues that required an MRI, CT Scan, 2 ultrasounds, a Cortisone shot, an ER visit, and 3 doctor visits (and a partridge in a pear tree!). I have gained about 10 pounds (I say about – because who gets on a scale when they think they have gained weight?) and my workout routine has been limited, meaning my typical morning dose of endorphins has been cut short.  While a bit frustrating, it is nothing.  Small Stuff. No. Big. Deal.

Just down the street, there is a 6-year-old girl battling cancer. She is kicking it so hard it is wishing it didn’t mess with her, I am sure. Further in the neighborhood is an even younger girl in the hospital fighting for every day. And a little further up the road is a friend beginning her battle with cancer. I found out about her cancer diagnosis the same day my mother finished her last radiation treatment. Cancer is a vicious cycle.

As I look at my beautiful kids, I simply cannot imagine dealing with these things. Yet, the people I mentioned, do so with such strength, grace, faith, and spirit. They are inspirations. They are changing lives with their positive energy and outlook. They find the sunshine in the darkest moments. Their reaction to their situations actually helps others (like me) realize how precious life is. While I do not understand how such awful things can happen to such wonderful people, especially children, I do know their stories stop you in your tracks and make you thank God for your precious life.

So, in the spirit of their amazing strength, let’s put our lives in the right perspective.  Smile at your co-workers, hug your girlfriends, tell your kids how much you love them, take that family trip in lieu of buying stuff, call your mom, and share your sunshine with those you love. And when life is tough on your circle, share your life event lasagna and count your blessings.

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