Although it is National Doughnut Day today (yes, apparently, there is day for this!), my heart and fingers feel compelled not to write Part 2 of the Powdered Donut Manifesto but instead, “Cured.” The seeds of this post were planted a week ago, but as with all my writing, I always wait, sometimes hours, sometimes days, sometimes longer to be sure that the seed is well watered, before it hopefully flowers in the words I write. As I fly to Lake Tahoe for my 6th Team in Training century ride for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (on National Doughnut Day), my heart tells me that “Cured” is ready to flower and be shared.
Before last Friday’s events can make sense, I have to reflect quickly on the kids and my trip to San Antonio over the holidays. We headed down right after the New Year, and I wrote in detail on that trip in “The Love of My Life | Bubbles and Powdered Donuts.” Although it wasn’t a long journey, we had a blast, and we took the water taxi up the new part of the Riverwalk into the Pearl Brewery area. It is a lovely redevelopment. We had so much fun. I always seem to have fun with these kids of Maureen and mine. I love them. They are great. We popped up the stairs from the taxi stop and put our names in at La Gloria, since they had a line, and then, we toodled around the shops. We hopped and skipped with the energy of just being together and then stopped into a place called Local. I had an espresso. The kids had hot chocolate. It was fun, and it was yummy, and we also noticed a restaurant called, “Cured.”
Being foodies and big Top Chef fans, we quickly noted that this was one of those, not just good restaurants but special ones, and we would have to come back. Heck, the dude that runs it worked for John Besh from New Orleans. That kind of lineage is a good sign. However, that day over the holidays was not meant for “Cured.” It was the day for La Gloria and some awesome Mexican food. Last Friday, though, was the day for “Cured,” and that day has set in motion a powerful set of connections this past week. Although I can not yet be specific, there was a very special meeting happening last Friday morning, a meeting that comes almost nine months after the beginning of the dialogue. Actually, it just dawned on me that the beginning of this dialogue is truly divine and even more connected to the story of “Cured.” The email that started this high-level dialogue was sent on July 11, 2014.
For those that know my story, Kethan Kumar passed on July 11, 2013. He is the very reason that I am flying to Tahoe for my 6th ride. He is the reason I am bald. He is the reason I am involved with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. He is the reason I wrote the email. To know Kethan, this special tribute video from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society gives you a small glimpse into the heart of a beautiful boy and a beautiful family. As I said to someone in a text that day, it is all connected.
All of this brings me back to the sequence of events that unfolded last Friday. I decided that during this special meeting, I couldn’t sit still, waiting to hear how the conversation and dialogue had unfolded. So, I decided to do my last set of hill repeats in preparation for this weekend’s ride in Lake Tahoe during the 30 minutes to an hour of the meeting. It was my way to connect my energy and my heart to those in the room elsewhere. After I finished my hills in Austin, I then drove my bike down to the San Antonio office of LLS, where it was to be picked up last Sunday to be transported out to Lake Tahoe, where I will meet it this afternoon, along with my friends and the spiritual journey ahead of me this weekend. While there, I talked to Deb Barker, the Executive Director of our chapter. Having been on the Austin board for 2 terms of 3 years, Deb and I have gotten to know each other quite well. She is a truly good person and has done so much in the fight for a cure. I am truly privileged to know her and the team around her.
I had mentioned to her that I was thinking of going back to the Pearl Brewery area for lunch before heading back up to Austin and told her of the kids and my trip from New Year’s. Then, she told me of the story behind “Cured.” She told me of Chef Steve, who is apparently on our San Antonio LLS board, and I began to feel it. I began to feel the goosebumps on the inside, as I call them in this video, Living Your Passion. I knew that I had to head south from our LLS office in north San Antonio. I had to have some of these magically cured and seasoned meats of Chef Steve and his team. As I walked up the steps into this building from 1904, I felt the calm and the happiness that always overwhelms me when I am on a date with Maureen. She may not be here physically, but I have come to understand and fully embrace my new reality, my angel. Maureen is always with me, on our date, and she was with me that day, last Friday, enjoying the architectural space that makes “Cured” more than a restaurant. I know love is the one dimension that connects heaven and earth, but I suspect that you don’t see and feel like we do here on earth, so I walked around the restaurant, so Maureen could see it through my eyes.
As I enjoyed my white asparagus soup and my pate (a favorite Maureen would always make from a family recipe), I then fully embraced the true meaning of “Cured.” For you see, Chef Steve didn’t just name it for the aging process of his meats. He named it Cured, because he is a lymphoma survivor. And in the grace of his restaurant, I smiled and felt a tear roll down my cheeks, enjoying his magnificent food and my date with Maureen, knowing that the kids and I would be back here together, soon. In the warm and beautiful sun, I walked out, basking, feeling the warmth of love, because it all comes full circle, just like the doughnut. And I also realized that the ultimate cure is indeed love.
Would I have loved for us to find a “cure” for Maureen’s breast cancer. You bet. Would I have loved for Kethan to reach his “cure” with Dr. June’s work at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. You bet. However, I realized that Chef Steve’s cure went deeper than just the eradication of his lymphoma cells. Chef Steve’s cure was love, a clear love for the art of good food, good food that he shares with all of us. Until I take my last breath and rejoin my Maureen, I will continue on the path of my love and a cure, because love is the best seasoning for life… and when the time is right, I will tell you about what happened in that meeting… 🙂