The very best part of my job is the people I get to meet. When I first started I assumed that I would be cooking for well to do types in the their gated communities. And while I do have clients where my jaw drops as I pull into their circle driveways, my clientele has become as eclectic as the food I cook. I have busy middle class families, power couples, single men and women who just don’t enjoy or have the time to cook and wonderful senior citizens.
The client group that I expected the least and yet has fulfilled me the most, are the clients who are facing medical struggles. I have cooked for cancer patients on chemo who wanted to concentrate on getting well. These are wonderful opportunities for me, because most of the time they just want food to be appetizing (chemo can mess with your sense of taste) and generally be high calorie but healthy. I get to cook their favorite foods and keep their weight and spirits up. (the mom in me loves that!) I have low fat, low salt menus for heart patients, gluten free diets and specialized menus for my diabetics clients.
This week I had new clients and new diet to learn. The renal diet. They are an older couple in their 70’s. They both are recent cancer survivors. He is a diabetic and she has heart disease. She was cooking accordingly, but recently was diagnosed with kidney disease. Sometimes it’s just too much and that’s when her family called me. She had a list of “do nots” from her doctor put not a list of “do’s” They don’t have internet access and her children don’t live in town. I met with them last week. In our conversation, I learned that they had raised three children, when their daughter unexpectedly passed away, they raised her four children, (the youngest 17 is still in their home) I learned of their strong faith, their medical struggles and resilient spirits.
How blessed am I to have a opportunity to meet people like this and be able to help in some small way to improve their quality of life?
I spent 20 years of my life in the telecommunication industry. I spent up to 60 hours a week sometimes stressing over whether or not a new software program loaded correctly into our retail stores. My corporate mind stressed over these issues keeping me up many nights and consuming my thoughts during what should have been my personal time. Yes the money was good, and I am thankful that I had a successful career that allowed me to provide for my family but talk about a priority change. I’m relearning what is really important and what isn’t. I don’t always know where my next check is coming from. I don’t get to count on quarterly bonuses or matching 401k plans anymore but I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything in the world!