Every Wednesday during the school year, my church serves a hearty meal. Different folks volunteer to cook the main course and side dishes, another team of volunteers bring desserts. The church secretary prepares ingredients for a garden salad - and Wa La! Dinner is served! It's a great time to catch up with people, eat good food, and, for mom (and maybe dad) to breathe a sigh of relief that there's one night with no KP duty.
My favorite Wednesday meal is Raymond Bazley's spaghetti dinner. Ray and his wife Melissa own a restaurant where they are hands-on owners, so the kitchen is a familiar and comfortable place for them. I can't say exactly why I like Raymond's spaghetti so much -- it doesn't have any secret ingredients that I know of. It just "hits my spot" as my friend Jan likes to say.
Tonight was spaghetti night, so I was there -- early -- one of the first in line (and I made it a point to bring my husband a carry out plate since he had to work late.) But tonight's dinner tasted extra special. It was more savory than normal.
You see, Raymond and Melissa were in a terrible accident recently. While on their way home from Ray-Mels, their motorcycle was hit by a car driven by a drunk driver. Ray tried everything he could to get out of the car's path, but like a magnet attracted to a steel beam, the car just kept coming at them.
Both of them suffered major injuries, and Raymond lost one foot. They have spent long days in the hospital and long days at home. Every chore is a major ordeal as they maneuver wheel chairs around the house. Every routine trip in the car requires getting to the car, getting out of the wheelchairs, getting the wheel chairs into the car, getting themselves into the car, etc. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.
So, tonight I celebrate life with them. I thank God for sparing them, for allowing them more time with their family, their restaurant crew, and their friends at church and elsewhere.
Tonight's spaghetti dinner never tasted better, for it was seasoned with a heaping cup of gratitude.