My heart broke for my friend Deb. Her home burned down in the Black Forest fire, less than a year after mine did in the Waldo Canyon fire. I wanted to do something helpful, meaningful—of all people, I should know what to do to make her feel better. After running through fifty ideas in my imagination, I knew. Bacon. Everyone loves bacon. Even people who won’t eat it, like it. I fried a pan of bacon, wrapped it, and headed to the destruction site of my dear friend’s home.
When I arrived, thirty or more people had shown up from her church to help. Friends had brought stacks of food and ice chests full of water bottles. The burn site buzzed with helpers suited from head to toe in white protective suits, gloves, and masks. Knee-deep in rubble, they dug through ashes to find anything salvageable.
I caught Deb’s eye and dashed to hug her. I stood by Deb with a full heart and meager foil-wrapped gift. Amidst the mass of helper bees and sad surroundings, I wilted. We walked through crunchy black grass crisped from the fire, and sat on a bench under a burned-out tree. I dangled my feet in the soot with the foil-clump in my lap.
“What’s this?” Deb said.
“I made bacon.”
“You made what?”
We cracked up like two school girls.
I unfolded the crinkly foil and unwrapped the paper towel holding the bacon. And together, we ate.
The memory of us on a bench surrounded by devastation eating bacon will stick. A gift from my heart, no matter how small, is enough.