Kindness Memories

ApronMay 25th was a day of mixed emotions for me.  I’m sure it is for many other people as well.  May 25th is Bronwyn’s birthday (Happy birthday Bronwyn!) and May 25th is also the day that I married K.B.

On May 25th this year I completely unplugged as I knew it would be a difficult day.  When I say unplugged I mean there was no facebook, twitter or any connection to the larger world.  I spent the day mostly reflecting on the past year and how this one day went from the happiest day to one of the saddest just a year later.  To be fair, it wasn’t an entirely sad day because I do have so many good memories of K.B. and even though I miss her terribly there are so many times when I think about her that I can’t help but smile.  I thought about how just before walking down the aisle on our wedding day, K.B. decided that wearing shoes was just not for her and at the last minute she kicked off her shoes and went barefoot through the ceremony.  There was also a bit of a mix up at the beginning of the ceremony that for most couples might have been seen as a disaster but for us it really set the tone of a relaxed and fun event that we really wanted to have for our special day.

K.B.’s son was one of my Groomsmen but he was also going to walk her down the aisle.  My son, who was my best man was waiting with me in the basement of the church.  Just before K.B. was to walk down the aisle we would be given the signal and enter the front of the church through a side door so that I would be waiting by the alter for K.B.  Well somehow things got a bit confused and the processional song started playing before we got the signal.  K.B. was making her way down the aisle with a huge smile on her face but I was still in the basement waiting for my cue.  The pastor’s daughter came running down to tell us that K.B. had already started down the aisle.  We knew that she was in a bit of a panic so we started heading up the stairs and part way up the pastor realized that we had missed our cue.  He turned back to me with a look of almost terror and said, “She’s already started walking down the aisle.”  We got to the doorway which opened up to the front of the church and the pastor peeked out to see if we had time to rush out before K.B. reached the meeting point.  No such luck.  At this point there’s not much you can do but just go with it.  So we sheepishly walked out and K.B. did her best to look annoyed but she couldn’t hide the smile.  As I walked toward her she said loud enough for the people in the church to hear, “Well at least the bride was on time.”  The congregation erupted in laughter and, as I said, it set the tone perfectly!

In our married life together I had the chance to see just how kind and wonderful K.B. was.  Not that I was unaware before we were married but it seemed like after we were married the sphere of kindness and caring that surrounded her expanded.  When we found our new home and finally got ourselves moved in K.B. decided to treat herself to a new oven (you gotta be kind to yourself too).  K.B. loved to bake.  That was her stress relief and one of the things that she truly loved to do.  She would actually read cookbooks for fun.  The thing with K.B. getting a new oven was it wasn’t just a treat for her it was a treat for all of us.  As soon as it arrived and she had all the features figured out she decided to make her famous ciabatta bread!  I love her ciabatta bread!

I was expecting that she would make one loaf for supper but when she was finished I found at least 4 loaves cooling in the kitchen.  I told her that I really do love her bread but I didn’t think two of us could eat that much bread before it goes bad.  She just said that I didn’t have to worry about that. Then she proceeded to package up three of the loaves and sent me out to deliver them to our neighbours.  One neighbour we had only met very briefly in passing and when I presented her with this wonderfully smelling loaf and explained that my wife had just made bread and wanted to share it she just kinda frowned and said, “Why?”.  I just replied, “You have to know my wife.  This is what she does.  We’re going to be neighbours so if there is any kind of baking you can’t eat let me know now.”

People reading this blog may get the impression that I’m putting K.B. on a pedestal and I suppose that’s a natural thing for us to do when someone you love dies.  I would not be lying if I said that I put K.B. on a pedestal while she was still alive.  She had bad days and certainly had moments when she would get angry with other people but she dealt with it through reflection, meditation and an effort to understand.  What I’ve learned from her is that in the long run we gain so much from offering all people caring and kindness.  I’ve also learned that a small gesture like sharing fresh baked bread with your neighbours is an excellent way to start building a friendship.

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