Earlier this evening, two friends stopped by with some comfort food to help our family through the loss of Grandpa John and make final preparations for his funeral. Few things are as wonderful during a tough week as a hot meal being delivered by loving friends. The one in charge of the casserole handed it to me warm from the oven. No instructions on how to heat it up were necessary; it was ready to go that instant. And so the minute they left, I laid the pan on the table along with the delicious accompaniments — a salad and brownies. I felt tremendous and immediate relief from not having to think through yet another meal for seven people. While the rest of the family certainly appreciated it, too, I had to have been the most poignantly aware of the gift being unwrapped, bite by bite, through tasting the food of friendship. The stress from the days leading up to this one slowly began to melt away with each forkful of chicken-noodle-cheese casserole. With each bite, I tasted more than a hot dish. I tasted the love and caring of friends. It was better, even, than a Calgon bubble bath. I am blessed, indeed.
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