The Chain of Encouragement Goes On and On...

Recipe Testers,

I get so many amazing responses and personal stories that you share with me after I send an e-mail. They really mean a lot to me. I couldn't believe how many people had ties to Indiana or also had emotional connections to the Dallas Cowboys or even how many people had relatives or knew someone from Reedley! All proof of the small world and how truly connected we are. I love the cooking questions, the recipes you share and when you tell me you made something of mine and it has now become your signature dish:-) I rarely share the responses, but this one this morning caught me off guard and made me cry. So I am sharing it now.

We each have challenges that we have to bear in our lives and it is by sharing that pain and understanding that we all heal and inspire each other.

My extraordinary gratitude for the difference you all make in my life!! Please read below from Barbara.


Begin forwarded message:

From: Barbara Banta
Date: August 31, 2009 6:28:22 AM PDT
To: Maili Halme Brocke
Subject: Re: There is Nothing that You Can't Do!

Hi Maili
I watched all of it and was very moved...and I too cried :) I can also say that Ted Kennedy Jr. has lived out those words and passed them along. My younger brother Bruce was diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of 11 and lost his left leg at the age of 14. A young man by the name of Teddy Kennedy Jr. sent him a letter telling him not to give up and to go for it, whatever "it" may be--enclosed was a picture of him snow skiing with one leg. That letter was a great encouragement to Bruce and an added stimulant to triumph over circumstances beyond his control. Eight weeks after loosing his leg my brother was on Lake Lanier water skiing with one leg. :) I don't know if it took all day and I know he drank some major lake water but with God's help he did ski that day :)
Have a great week,

On Aug 29, 2009, at 5:22 PM, Maili Halme Brocke wrote:

Recipe Testers,

No matter your political party the message crosses party lines and applies to everyone. This morning I was watching Edward Kennedy's funeral. I was moved by the incredible music of Placido Domingo and Yo Yo Ma (a favorite of my daughter's) and the beautiful prayers. I was amazed at all the dignitaries there to honor him. I have to be honest and admit that I knew anything about his sons. And I certainly had NO IDEA that his son had bone cancer and had his leg amputated at age 12. So of course I immediately thought of Jeanette, since she lost her leg at age 12. And I wept as I listened to this Eulogy. I'm still crying now as I type it.

"When I was 12 years old I was diagnosed with bone cancer and a few months after I lost my leg there was a heavy snowfall over my childhood home outside of Washington, DC. My father went to the garage to get the old flexible flyer and asked me if I wanted to go sledding down the steep driveway. I was trying to get used to my new artificial leg and the hill was covered with ice and snow and it wasn’t easy for me to walk. The hill was very slick and as I struggled to walk I slipped and fell on the ice and I started to cry.

And I said: 'I can’t do this! I’ll never be able to climb up that hill.'

And he lifted me up in his strong gentle arms and said something I will never forget.

He said: 'I KNOW you CAN DO IT! There is nothing that you can’t do! We’re going to climb that hill together even if it takes us all day.'”

and here is the link for those of you who would like to watch it. it is the edited version and it is a minute into the speech that he says the words above.

Unfortunately the video link does not have all of Ted Kenndy, Jr's eulogy to his father because the ending is that Senator Kennedy took his son around the waist and they walked up the hill together.

I hope these words inspire all of you!



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