One of my greatest joys is the circle of friends whom I have been lucky enough to meet because of my business. Some of these relationships go way back, past the beginning of Bisousweet, beyond the days of babycakes and confections, and even before my time at Nashoba Brook Bakery. I used to think that this bond was unique to working side by side in a kitchen, scrambling to meet deadlines and finding laughter in the middle of the chaos. What I have realized over the past couple of years is that this ‘circle’ extends beyond the ovens and the mixers – it includes the artist who designed my logo, the buyers I chat with week after week, year after year, and the delivery guy who hauls in our pallets of flour, sugar & butter.
One person in this circle is my marketing guru, Deb Laflamme, owner of For the Love of Your Biz. I have been working with Deb for many years, and our relationship long ago crossed over the line of business to friendship. To be honest, our relationship took a flying leap over that line. Her family became my family, our conversations weaving an easy path between work, family, dogs, coffee and life.
When her father was diagnosed with cancer, I put his name on a ribbon, pinned it to the back of my shirt, and thought of him and his family when I rode in the PMC. When we would meet to talk about work, she would inevitably tell me stories about how she brought him lemon shortbread cookies and doughnut muffins, and how much he loved these little treats. He was larger than life, and when he passed away earlier this year, the loss for Deb and her family was palpable.
I have not yet experienced that kind of loss on a personal level, and my brain is not fully wired to grasp the magnitude and permanence of such a life-altering shift. As this Thanksgiving approached, I looked forward to the mayhem of baking pies at work and planning our menu at home. It wasn’t until I saw one of Deb’s posts on Facebook that I realized that her holiday was going to be different this year because it was the first Thanksgiving without her dad.
It’s a lot to absorb.
How does one figure out how to move forward and celebrate while still mourning the loss?
She mentioned missing seeing her father wearing his red apron, and that image gnawed at me. I kept thinking of all of the families in our town who have experienced horrible losses this year, and realized that they too were going to face this same thing. I wanted to write something, but the words on my screen felt insignificant.
The only thing that made sense to me was to embrace the red apron.
May the memory of your loved one bring you peace and comfort, and may the path forward be easy.