Manna from Heaven


Our book club has been together for over ten years. Though some members have come and gone, a core group of us have forged a deep bond of friendship. We look forward to each month when we can laugh, express, hug, and catch up with each other. We’ve been through births of babies, the challenges of parenthood, new homes, old homes transformed to new, lost jobs, career changes, and most recently, the loss of loved ones.

Two of our members, Susie and Julia, lost parents in recent months. The heartache. The grief. But not the abandoned. Tough times are the true test of a friendship. We readily gather, embrace, listen—a sisterhood of support.

When Susie needed help preparing food and setting up her home to host her family and friends after her father’s funeral—we were there. She knew she could ask for our help and we would be there for her before the question even left her lips.

Then a couple months later, Julia’s mother, Karen, passed away unexpectedly. Once again, we were there to comfort her pain and provide a helping hand. This time, Julia wanted to offer a last tribute and gift from her mother. A gift of comfort. And what gives us more comfort than home-baked bread? In this case, Karen’s favorite banana bread.

With four kitchenaid stand mixers and a few bottles of prosecco, we made about 75 mini-loaves of banana bread to give away at the funeral, along with the recipe. It was a beautiful way to pay tribute to Julia’s mother and help her heal during such a difficult time.

But what we discovered was that Karen actually gave us not a gift of bread, but a gift of testimony. A declaration of love and friendship. A gift delivered from heaven.


You can enjoy a slice of Karen’s “Best Banana Bread Ever” too. Find her recipe in our Desserts category.