Why is it that the brilliant highs of wonderful events in our lives seem to be followed by those which are equally deep in their tragedy? I guess the highs would not be evident if we didn't experience the lows.The great joy of J, with the wonder of her little infant; A and her recent wedding & parties. Beauty, happiness & hope! Then Y lost her sister very suddenly, and is beyond shattered. Each morning I watch our wild birds at their feeders and taking a bath in the fountain. Sparrows, various finches, robins, doves, and blue jays are there every day by the dozens on the feeders and on the ground:
But then one of the heavy feeders fell off the tree, and managed to strike a female finch, killing her instantly. Happiness to casualty, like that.
The same day I received the news that my friend Djive's Mom had passed; more sad news. Today is the service; Djive asks no black, it's a celebration of the life of a vibrant woman, a talented painter, mother, wife and bonne vivante. What could I do for Djive at this time? It's so hard to know how to help someone grieve, and each person is so different. Djive at least had time to come to grips with the process as it unfolded. I wanted to bring something, and I like to bring something baked, so I got up this morning and made a lemon-lavender pound cake; if you don't use paper molds for baked gifts, you can find them someplace like this. You could take a box cake and brush it with the lavender-infused syrup I did here and it would still be delish and be so pretty...here is the scratch version, if you would like the recipe let me know:
it was then tied up with petticoat tulle and doilies and bright doubleface satin ribbon (she said No Black!), with no help from Biscuit, who nosed in at the last second:
For many years, I have given a French religious medal to friends who have lost a loved one; this time was no different, except that I had them on a crab claw instead of taped into a card, one for each family member:
It was really all about Djive, though. To try to support her and give her something soothing. She loves orchids, so I got two for her at the market today, and put them in a green tote:
One of the plants was very tiny, but delicate and pretty; it was tagged as a "seasonal":
The other plant had incredible, large, pristine flowers; if there is a dinner-plate orchid this is it:
I put all of that in the tote, with some fresh blackberries to go with the cake. What is best for a gift? There is nothing formulaic, especially for a wake. I hope that Djive appreciated my thought, I think so. She was the picture of grace and composure today, 100% class act, though some of the rest of of us like me were a little teary, for her and for her Mom.
Live well & love!