Monday, October 12, 2009

Thanksgiving Day 11: A Friend in Need ...

I could not go through this month without talking about Brenda, the woman without whom Nilgiris Tea House would not exist.

Brenda and I sat down one cold night in Calgary and talked about moving out to Three Hills and starting the TH ... she arrived one week before I did. Before that, she helped me pack up the household in Calgary (and she has helped me pack and move three times in Three Hills as well!). She organized the kitchen and she and I came up with the original menu. She has trained almost all my kitchen staff.

When we closed the TH in 2006, Brenda stoically got things in order. When I wanted to open again at the end of 2007, it was to Brenda that I first went, and she enthusiastically said she was on board.

But all of that is just scratching the surface; the reason I love Brenda so much is I have been privileged to catch glimpses of her heart. She has a heart for God and she has a heart for people and service. If anyone is in need and she gets wind of it, she will do whatever is in her power to assist.

During Mum's illnesses, it was more often than not Brenda on whose shoulder I would sob. During other difficult periods in my life it was she who would listen to and weep with and counsel me.

And even now, I know that all I have to do is call her up and say, "I need you," and she will be there for me.

We share very important relatives too: Elliot and Oliver, her grandsons and my nephews, figure prominently in our conversations!

Although Brenda officially "retired" from the payroll at the end of 2008, she continues to come by and help out at the drop of a hat. This week alone she came in and did my mid-week dishes; and then on Saturday night she was here with Don and Norma, getting all my veg prep for Thanksgiving dinner completed, getting me organized like she has been doing for the past six years ...

And so, right on the cusp of Thanksgiving day I want to thank Brenda for all she means to me. And I want to thank God for bringing her into my life.

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