Written by John.
Lots of you have asked when we have communicated what you can do to help. Mostly I have given you one form or another of a puzzled look and slight shrug, because that’s pretty much what I do when someone asks me to make a decision of any kind. But one of the big things we’ve already been struggling with has been preparing dinners. Breakfast is not a problem. Lunch is really easy, particularly when the kids are in school (thanks Guilford County!!). Dinner is our bete noir. It kills us. Every night.
Fortunately, one of the first things that anyone did in response to Nina’s diagnosis was that our good friends Eliza Harrington Myers (NER’s lovely and talented best friend from high school, who is a NICU doctor and somehow has time to raise three girls and take good care of us at the same time) and Debbie Harrington (Eliza’s equally lovely and talented mom who somehow has time to have a career in retirement, travel the globe, tend to her plethora of beautiful children and cute grandkids, and take care of us as well) set up an account for us with a prepared food service, 2Girls Chef Services and Catering. The service is absolutely wonderful. I cannot recommend it enough. They make great food, they specialize in diabetic-friendly meals, they bring it to your house, unpack it, and tell you how to prepare it (which is mostly “heat this up and eat it.”).
The service set up an online account for us so that our family and friends can put money on it and send their support from afar. Debbie and Eliza got it going. My mom, who lives in Oregon, added to our account, for example. For those who want to help, but are either remote or simply don’t have the time or inclination to cook things, this is definitely something that has helped ENORMOUSLY and would be much appreciated. Here is the info for our account:
The link is: http://2girlscateringco.wix.com/2015#!riggn15506/c17i
The password to access it is: Mendenhall
You can put any amount you want to on the account. You don’t really have to do anything more. We can just order meals weekly as needed. So as our needs change (NER has surgery, chemo, radiation, etc.) we can adjust. We don’t really know what our needs are, but it’s overwhelmingly likely that dinner will be among the keenest.
Another very generous thing that is being done for us is that our friend Melissa Tarleton is taking time out from two boys and running a business of her own to set up a “Meal Train” account so that people who DO want to cook and schelp food directly to us can sign up to do so. I feel odd asking people to cook for us, but we both recognize that, given we’re already struggling to get food on the table every night with all the doctor’s appointments and planning, once surgery and chemo hit we will probably need to take advantage of all the generous offers you all have already made. So if cooking is your thing, please check out the Meal Train account Melissa set up:
There is a calendar with days marked when meals are needed. We’ll update it as we get a better sense of ongoing needs during chemo and beyond. I think you will need to create an account to use it, but then it’s just a matter of finding a day that works for you and signing up. Melissa has already been our one-woman meal train, and she will be your conductor if you choo-choo-choo-choose to participate. Ha! The Simpsons was a great show.
If you prepare us food using the Meal Train thing, we are pretty wide-open in terms of our tastes. Freddy and I are both diabetic, though, so meals that are not carb heavy are better. However, we do not eat carb-free at all. We just try to use brown rice instead of white, and not have many pasta-based meals. We go easy on dessert. Otherwise, we like lots of different kinds of food. Good food. Ok, Benny doesn’t like anything except a specific brand of chicken sausage, chicken nuggets, chocolate, and noodles.But he’s kind of an a-hole about food, so just ignore him. If you cook it, we will probably like it.
Anyhow. There is a lot of info in this update. If you have questions about the Meal Train, you can communicate with Melissa via the site. Questions about the 2Girls Catering thing can be put to them (or me: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Thank you all, again and again, for being there for us and making us feel your presence so keenly just as it was most needed. I can’t even express how good it feels after a difficult day to have a warm, home cooked meal. It seems simple, but it really is magical, life saving, stuff.