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Just A Rant

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I've been retired for many years. Periodically, post retirement, I'd cater an event as a favor to a friend or relative. My wife always assisted me. She couldn't boil water, but she was an incredibly gracious woman, who could easily defuse any difficult situation. When we catered these events, it was always as a favor and a bit of recreation and spousal togetherness. Three years ago, I catered the wedding for the daughter of a close friend of my wife. I made nada on the event. It was done at cost.

This past October, 2008, my dear wife lost her five year battle with breast cancer. During the year prior to her death, she was very ill, often confined to our home or in the hospital. Her friend, for whom we catered the wedding, never phoned, never visited, never sent a card, even after I wrote her a note asking that she come see my wife.

This afternoon, this woman's husband phoned me, at his wife's request, to ask if I would cater the wedding for another daughter. I said, simply and quietly, that I would cater the wedding after his wife confers with mine.
post #2 of 9
You were certainly more reserved then I would have been.

I am sorry for your loss
I am a reduction of my youthful mistakes mixed with the roux of a few adult successes
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I am a reduction of my youthful mistakes mixed with the roux of a few adult successes
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post #3 of 9
Tell them since you lost your wife you no longer have the heart to do this anymore.

And I am sorry about your lose. ejb
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #4 of 9
really good responses all the way around. I'm sorry for your loss....
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your kind words. I confess that my first impulse was to tell this woman's husband that I felt great pity for him; having this woman for a wife must be a horror.
There is a lesson to be learned in this for other caterers. You are a professional. Your skill, labor, and time have great value.

Even for friends, cut no deals!
post #6 of 9
sigh....I've lost a few very very close friends since Oct 2006.
Before that I never knew what to say to people who had lost parents or spouses, anything I'd say seemed so trite.

My long time amour was house bound except for dialysis, the last 3 years of his life. This viabrant, active man was holding conference call meetings with various international food & wine groups....but very very few of his friends came to visit.

The same happened with another friend who went through ovarian cancer, 18 month remission then the **** of it's return and within 6 mos her demise. Several of her long time good friends did not visit, she told me this....
Her memorial service had 700 people.

All it says to me is that these people have issues with death and dying. They ignore rather than deal with loss.

The part that has got to hurt is that you asked for help and she did not come through.....:(

As to helping out friends with catering.....well, there have been several posted threads on that..... "relative's wedding" speaks to how to define a cooking gift.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
But, my dear, it's no excuse. There comes a time, when, as a caring adult, you place a friend above and beyond your personal aversion/fear of death and dying. I'm a pro at death. I lost my mother when I was age 9; my father at age 18. I'm an on-the-ground Vietnam veteran. In the past seven years I've personally cared for and buried five close relatives including my wife. When I pass a mortuary or a cemetery, my spine grows cold, yet I never forget my responsibility, as a human being, to be with those who are ill and for whom life's clock is expiring. I have no truck for those who shirk the responsibility of visiting the ill with the mantra, "I just want to remember them as they were, when they were well." That is male bovine excretia, purely and simply.
post #8 of 9
Steve, you got the living crud scared out of me...

I'm NOT a pro at death, only been to three funerals in my life and the last one was my mother's, two and half years ago. Relatives (both mine and my wife's) are all overseas, the only sick person I ever visited was my Mom--from a broken hip to double pneumonia, and ultimately death, in three weeks. Been in business pretty much all the time since I came back to Canada, 13 years ago, so I have very few friends.

Don't know what I've got coming to me in the next 20 or so years. Then again, if someone called me after what you've been through and wanted a freebee job, I don't think I could be so diplomatic as you, my stock answer would be: I'm booked for that day....

Sorry for your loss
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #9 of 9
I'm learning to give lots of latitude these days.
Though, in your case I'd do the exact same thing.....
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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