Tomorrow is Not Guaranteed So I’m Saying Goodbye to Isolation…

I’ve been procrastinating writing this for as long as I can. I knew I needed to sit down & write it but the emotions that come with that kind of thing can be overwhelming at times. I was officially supposed to be ‘back to the blog’ yesterday – at least, that’s what I thought last week.

Last Thursday, I told Jennifer that I was taking back over my blog. I had decided that I couldn’t just lay in bed for the rest of my life & avoid the world. I got up that day, got dressed, put on makeup…. That evening after dinner, I even went to a friend’s house. My friend was doing something so I picked up my phone & checked facebook – and the very first post that popped up was that my very good friend, Joan from Chocolate, Chocolate, & More, had passed away in her sleep the night before. My first thought was ‘Nope. This isn’t true. Seriously, just can not be true’ & I fell into in instant panic. I called my friend Jessica (also a food blogger) – hoping she’d tell me that it was some stupid hoax… or something. Anything other than she was gone. Jessica ended up confirming that Joan was gone. I guess I hadn’t paid attention to what I was physically doing at that time because I looked up for the first time & I had somehow walked to the end of the street on the sidewalk. I managed to make it back to my friend’s house & just bawled my eyes out. I wanted to recluse again…. isolate myself. Lay in bed and cry. Joan had passed away in her sleep & also had left behind 3 kids… and somehow that tiny bit of similarity made me feel like I was not only grieving for Joan, but had just found out Mike passed away all over again.

I guess that’s how grief works sometimes though.

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The next day, I spent a lot of time thinking…. and I spent a lot of time crying. Social media was something that I wanted to be on but I didn’t at the same time… there were posts all among the food blogging community (this amazing food blogging community that I’m so blessed to be apart of ) about Joan, everyone was reeling. Everyone was sad. The pictures & memories did my heart good and bad at the same time. One thing was clear, Joan felt like a best friend to so many people including myself. We hit it off within minutes of meeting each other at a food blogger event & managed to sit next to each other at nearly every event we were at together after that, giggling like a couple of teenagers. My parents live just a couple hours from her, so we made it a habit of meeting for breakfast or lunch at Cracker Barrel & then finishing up with a Goodwill shopping trip. In fact, I just moved closer to my parents so we were looking forward to getting together a lot more.

Joan was a ‘grab life by the horns’ kind of person – and she was smart, oh so smart. She amazed me by what a smart business woman she was, but at the same time – she was super personable, generous, & sweet. She was a proud mom of 3 kids – and she taught me to always eat dessert first, & one of each at that. She was fierce, loyal, & one of my favorite people.

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Today, this wonderfully loving community of food bloggers that I’m apart of are making chocolate recipes & posting them with the hashtag #ChocolateForJoan to honor her – and it works out perfectly because today falls on National Chocolate Day… and Joan was the biggest chocolate lover I know.

I was wanting to make a recipe, but honestly – instead I spent the last few days with friends – However, I want you to scroll down below the beautiful picture of Joan & click on the Ding Dong Cake… it’s my favorite dessert off her site… and keep visiting Chocolate, Chocolate, & More to keep her site going forever.

My Daddy recently said to me that tomorrow is not guaranteed…. and I’m not going to choose isolation anymore. I think that Joan would be ok with that. If anything, thinking of her fearless ‘go get ’em’ attitude on life has pushed me even harder to not isolate myself anymore & to try to live again. So Joan, thank you for inspiring me…. Give Mike a hug for me in Heaven. Til we meet again.

dingdongcake