Sunday, December 07, 2008

Can You Hug a Rock?

"you find the inner strength when the one you love needs you to" Barbara Harris to Sam Breach, November 2005.
picture photograph image christmas tree 2008 copyright of sam breach
In this little pink bag hanging on my Christmas tree is something Barbara likes. It'll be winging its way down under in the next few days.

We've all heard of tree-hugging, but today I would rather be hugging a rock. A dear friend and member of the food blogging community is suffering through some difficult chemotherapy and her most caring of friends, Bron and Ilva have arranged for bloggers all over the world to send her some virtual hugs. Barbara, from Winos & Foodies is one of my most special rocks. Although we have never met, our relationship runs a little deeper than many virtual friendships. I have just spent some time reading through the 55 emails that Barbara and I have sent back and forth privately to each other over the years. There are things in there to make us laugh (like the time I accidentally got my "Barbara" email addresses confused and wished her luck with her pregnancy to which she responded: "My husband would be very shocked to think I might be pregnant!!"). And there are conversations we've had that are far more serious and private, reminding me that whilst some of us might sometimes 'appear' to share our whole lives online, in truth there are so many things going on behind the scenes that we prefer to keep only to ourselves and our closest confidantes. I am more than honoured that Barbara, despite her own challenges, has always found the time to reach out and be a huge support to me and a friend to my whole family, especially my sister Beccy and my mum Christine.

Today I would like to leave you with some wise words Barbara had for me about that cruel disease, cancer, that touches so many of our and or loved ones' lives:

"It's not a club any of us would choose to join. We are forced into it and we should make the most of it. For some of us that means changing our life style... or maybe just rethinking our outlook on what's important in life."

Big hugs from me are winging their way to Australia, for you, Barbara,
lots of love,

PS - Now I am off to the kitchen to make the recipe that was meant to be part of this post. I wasn't sure if I would be able to get it ready in time especially since Australia are so many hours ahead of us, so I elected to post the first part of the virtual hug now and follow up with the recipe later.

2005 | An Ode to Prawn Puri
2004 | Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill Las Vegas

© 2008 Sam Breach
Can You Hug a Rock?


  • At 7/12/08 11:27, Blogger ChrisB said…

    I shed a few tears reading this post Sam. Barbara is such a special person and this is a lovely hug.

  • At 7/12/08 11:42, Blogger Barbara said…

    Sam this is a lovely hug and I thank you...and of course I shed a few tears also. I'm off for treatment shortly and I have a feeling I'll shall sit there feeling the warmth of this weekends virtual hugs and it will be an easier day. Thank you and thank you for our special friendship which brightens my day and gladdens my heart. We decorated our tree last night so I'm excited to think of your pink parcel sitting underneath waiting for Christmas Day.

    I've followed your weekend on Twitter and sounds like it was a fun time.

    Hugs back at you and Fred.

  • At 7/12/08 12:03, Blogger Bron said…

    Thank you Sam,
    Barbara is an angel and I know that for sure, she has touched so many with her gentle kind way. I'm so very honoured that I've been able to meet her, (and her hubby Byran is rather cool too! ;-) and spend several wonderful hours with her in person. But like you I've spent MANY more hours with her online.
    Thank you for sharing with us just how special your relationship is with our most beloved friend Barbara! Hugs Bron

  • At 7/12/08 19:14, Blogger cookiecrumb said…

    What a special bond you share.
    Good luck on Monday, Barb.
    Love to you all.

  • At 8/12/08 04:04, Blogger Deborah Dowd said…

    is so tight- what a wonderful post and my thoughts,prayers (and hugs) to Barbara!

  • At 8/12/08 13:35, Blogger Jen Yu said…

    Indeed, there is far more depth to many people than just what we read on their blogs, but this is especially true of Barbara. She is phenomenal - a real treasure. This was a beautiful hug.

  • At 9/12/08 00:37, Blogger Ilva said…

    Thank you so much for joining in, lovely post!

  • At 10/12/08 12:19, Anonymous Chez Us said…

    Lovely post that brought a couple tears to my eye!

  • At 12/12/08 17:39, Blogger Tartelette said…

    Sam, it was a very special and wonderful post in Barbara's honor. I did the same thing the other night, reading our own emails over again. Barbara was there when I miscarried and she was there when it happened once more and she gently coaxed me into taking things the way they come and look beyond the horizon line. Great lady she is and great friend you are.

  • At 13/12/08 03:35, Blogger Beccy said…

    A lovely hug for Barbara and the soups sounds pretty nice too.


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