The Unexpected Joy Of Pies For Prevention Distribution Day
Last year was the first year I baked for Pies for Prevention at my own home, and after all the measuring and mixing and baking was done, I discovered the unexpected joy of distribution day. All day, as I prepared for my own family’s Thanksgiving dinner, a stream of people flowed through my home. People I saw every week, people I hadn’t seen in months or years, and people I had never met came to pick up their pies from the boxes arrayed on folding tables in my living room. Some popped in and out. Some people sat down and we caught up. Many of them shared stories of their own encounters with cancer.It was a day of meaning and connection, and what an appropriate way to remember a woman like Stephanie Sussman. Throughout high school and beyond, I spent many weekends visiting the Sussman home in Palo Alto, after Adeena and I struck up what was to become a life-long friendship at summer camp in 8th grade. The Sussman home was a hub of hospitality in the small Jewish community, and everyone knew they could always come by – for a whole Shabbat, or for a quick schmooze, a cup of coffee, and always for whatever was cooking or baking in that kitchen.
In choosing to remember their mother Steffi and their grandmother Anne Nadrich in this way, Sharon and Adeena have allowed all of us to carry on the traditions of sustenance, warmth, and connection that were central to their home. I am honored to be a part of it.