Friday, November 9, 2012

Thank you for being a friend

I had surgery two weeks ago, and my family couldn’t be happier about it – or fatter.

“Why do people keep bringing food?” my son asked when I came home from my brief stay in the hospital.

“Because that’s just what they do in South,” I said.

And it is wonderful.

As a mother, I was a little afraid of being incapacitated for a few weeks. Don’t get me wrong, my husband is very hands on, but I’m the mother. Since my daughter was born 22 years ago, I’ve pretty much believed the world would end if I spent a day in bed. I really thought very little about the surgery (which went fine, by the way) beforehand. Instead, I thought of more important things like, “Who will separate the delicates from the towels? Who will fix the sweet tea? Who will RSVP to party invitations?”

As I said, very important things.

I also worried a little about food, specifically, what we were going to eat. My husband is an excellent chef and cooks plenty of meals, but for some reason, I had it in my head that I should buy a case or two of power bars to keep by my bed just in case. I should have known that no matter one’s situation, if you know a few Southern women, you have nothing to fear.

In addition to my husband’s homemade Brunswick stew, we’ve been blessed with food from some of the area's finest cooks. Night after night, these sweet friends of mine entered bearing casserole dishes — some fancy, some disposable — all equally delicious.

“I like home-cooked meals,” my daughter said enthusiastically, making me feel a twinge of guilt for not cooking enough the past year, or two, or three ...

The best part about Southern women is they think of everything. The food was gluten- and nut-free per our allergies. They brought jugs of Chick-fil-A tea, 12 packs of cranberry La Croix and sacks of People magazines for me to pass the time. They brought ice cream and cookies for dessert, gift cards for take-out later and cinnamon rolls for breakfast. I gotta tell you, recovering from surgery ain’t half bad.

And beyond the kitchen, I’ve gotten flowers, phone calls, visits, texts and prayers. Any ounce of apprehension vanished as soon as my friends sprang into action. Thank God, I let them, though being the true friends that they are, I had no choice.

Speaking of thanking, one of my dearest friends, whom I’ll call “Louise,” picked me up last week and drove me all over town to look for thank you notes.

We finally found them at a local pharmacy. According to the sales clerk, they don’t carry many because they don’t sell. Kind of sad sign on the state of manners. I still think real mail trumps emails, texts and even phone calls, but I’m hoping this column will trump all three.

Thank you, friends.


Anonymous said...

True, true... casseroles, soup, deviled eggs, pimiento cheese... We know how to fatten one another's families up in times of strife! Enjoyed this.

Crack You Whip said...

I do miss handwritten cards...most people rely on Facebook for all of their communication needs now. Lovely post, so true!

Meredith Leigh Knight said...

Thanks to you both! I appreciate your reading, and I agree, a handwritten note and some homemade pimento cheese can cure anything!

Meredith Leigh Knight said...

Thanks to you both! I appreciate your reading, and I agree, a handwritten note and some homemade pimento cheese can cure anything!

TJ Lubrano said...

Awww that sounds absolutely wonderful! I can't wait to eat a proper Southern meal one day. Hope you're doing okay over there ^_^ Whenever I send out artwork, I always make sure that I add a handwritten note. My package is not complete without it, plus it makes sure I don't forget how to write hehe.

Take care Xx

TToombs said...

Leigh, how lucky are you to have such wonderful and thoughtful friends! And I have to agree with everyone else - there is nothing like a hand written thank you note. Seems almost extint these days. Beautiful post. Hope you are feeling better!

Meredith Leigh Knight said...

Thanks to you both for reading and for your kind words! @TJ - I hope you'll get a good home-cooked Southern meal, too, one day!