A few weeks back when I found you on Facebook with a sizzling profile picture, I was quite taken aback. You looked like you were 25, with skin glowing like a baby, perfect hair and gorgeous makeup. I was digging your hair style. Then you told me you had a wig on and that you had lost your hair from chemotherapy.
I stopped. I stopped for a long time, trying to take it in, trying to understand and rationalize as my heart began to break.
Then you told me you are feeling great and your spirits are soaring. I don’t ever expect to hear anything different from you because I never have. Your blog, The Perks of Having Cancer, is a true testament to your personality. Always finding hope, peace, and humor in everything you see, reminding us to have fun while we are at it.
When you offered me to guest blog I couldn’t have been happier. I never thought anyone would ask me to guest blog ever – especially being such a newbie in the scene. I never thought I was that worthy. You did – like you always did in the past – like you always do for everyone you know.
I am sorry I haven’t been in touch with you in the last seven years. It’s been a long time. A really long time since I saw you last. I remember seeing Ben (he was just born), a wee little sleeping baby strapped in his baby basket. I remember his sweet little face and now he is seven already. Kaitlyn and Donovan were young enough to want a pet cow. When you said you got a cat (Max) instead and the kids were happy I thought you were a magician (little did I know young kids are so forgiving).
In 2002, fresh out of a Masters program, I landed in Marystown with a job – 305 km away from all the friends I ever knew in a foreign land. It didn’t take you long to make me feel comfortable. Neither did it take you long to sweep me into your umbrella as a supervisee. The Board of Psychology will never know how much fun it was to prepare documents for them – our secret. Phew! Fear was never your worry and you made sure it was never mine either.
I remember the fun times we had: driving across the ‘Boot’, introducing me to the whole peninsula full of inquisitive people, your home cooked suppers, you bringing me plants when I was sick and digging up rocks so you could make me a garden with your perennials. There are so many heartwarming memories of good times I had with you.
Remember our lunches at Sharon’s Nook in Grand Bank? You made sure Sharon’s Nook was on our agenda every time we stepped on Grand Bank territory. I remember every bowl of the most delicious Newfoundland pea soup with a side of pork buns, every dish of cod au gratin with homemade bread I had with you. And then there were cream puffs, no-bake blueberry cheese cake, chicken cacciatore, sea food chowder, spinach dip to name a few that you spoiled me with. I have been making your seafood chowder ever since, and it has become our family favorite.
I hope to get to see you soon, and get to hear that hearty laugh that I remember, the one I could often hear across the office hall. I look forward to seeing you very soon.
PS: You never knew, but you were the ‘blue butterfly’ who sat next to me for two years.
Florence’s Easy Sea Food Chowder
YOU WILL NEED:
- Fresh Cod or a medley of other fish: 250gms cubed
- Baby Clams: 2 cans, drained and juice reserved
- Bacon: 6 slices cut into small pieces
- Onion: 1 medium, small diced
- Potatoes: 1 large, medium diced
- Garlic: 1 tsp or 1-1/2 tsp freshly grated
- Flour: 2 tbsp
- Canned milk: 1 can
- Salt and pepper
- Parsley to garnish
HERE’S HOW TO:
- Mix flour, salt and pepper. Roll cod in flour and lightly fry. Set aside
- Fry bacon until semi crisp. Add onions at this stage and fry till translucent.
- Add I cup water or the juice from 1 can of baby clams and boil for a few minutes. Add cubed potatoes and boil till almost done. When using clam juice from the can it is best to strain the juice once or twice in order to eliminate any clam shell residue which is quite commonly found in the juice from a can.
- Add the cod, clams (or any other fish), canned milk, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste.
- Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
- Serve hot, garnished with parsley.