Kelly In Catty

This blog is Kell's attempt to keep in touch with friends far away who complain that I don't e-mail nearly enough.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Do This In Remembrance of Me

I used to hate working with a woman I'll call Carly. Carly was one of those women who worked her entire professional career at one company... and was therefore entitled to certain respect (wether or not she earned it). To be honest, she was a pain in the butt to deal with. I hated working with her, yet I found her interesting as a human being (She kept 19 cats in her home... She wore so much perfume, she could never hide from anyone... She once told me, "Kelly, I know this may sound odd, but when I get home from work, I can eat an entire stick of frozen butter. I just love it.").

She became less of a co-worker and more of a person the year her husband got cancer. He was dying, and it was horribly sad to see it happen. I felt badly for her. It's not easy to lose someone you love.

Anyway, she called me at the office one day, and told me a sweet story. "Kelly, you know those peanut butter cookies with the Hershey's Kisses on top?"


"They're the only thing my husband asked me to make for him at Christmas.... I just opened up the oven door, and it looks like the cat shit all over in here..."

"Um," I suggested, "You might want to put the Kisses on the cookies AFTER you bake them."

She paused before thoughtfully saying "Oh."

Where this is the funniest story I have about Carly, it at least showed me she was a real person... Even though I hated every minute of working with her, at least she was, down deep - trying hard to do something nice for someone. It was one of the first moments I held any real respect for her.

Anyway, later that year, I met Ardath Rodale, CEO of Rodale Press, publishers of 'Men's Health Magazine,' 'Runner's World,' and 'The South Beach Diet' Books. I was interviewing her for a story I was doing about depression survivors. As I got up to leave, she signed a copy of her latest book for me.

In it, there's a story about the anniversary of her son's death. Instead of moping about, she invited all of his friends to her home, and served them all of her son's favorite food. She reported a lovely evening of remebrance - a celebration of her son's life.

The next year, Carly's husband died. I didn't know what to do, so I wrote her a note, summarizing Mrs. Rodale's story - and attached it to a tin of peanut butter cookies with Hershey's Kisses. I felt like it was the least I could do.

She called me immediately, "Kelly, I have no idea how you could possibly remember that my husband loved these... but thank you."

That may be the funniest part of the story.



  • At 8:15 PM, Blogger Sarabeth said…

    So, on May 20th, do you want to come down here and have boiled shrimp and really good wine? We can start with some boiled peanuts while we play a copy of a FSU football game. While we eat dinner we'll have jazz playing. Then, we'll toast my dad's life with some Tawny 22 port.

  • At 6:44 AM, Blogger Trixie said…

    And I will be there too. It will be a real celebration!

    (Once again a lovely post by Kell who leads the most amazing life)

  • At 6:45 AM, Blogger Trixie said…

    Every once in a while we hit the right tone in gift giving. It's rare but when it happens it can change your life for a few moments.


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