When Life Gives You Lemonade
When I reached my doorstep, I found a plastic takeout bag containing the following:
- Pasta Salad
- Tomato Avocado Salad
- Farro Salad
- Roasted Chicken
- Black Bean Soup
It was from Lemonade, a local chain of healthy-ish salads and sandwiches. The servings were massive. Sustenance for days. A short note on Paramount letterhead said they were all thinking of me.
Three days earlier, I had received word that my dad mysteriously lost consciousness and was en route to the hospital. I hopped a flight from LA to Texas as soon as I could and spent the majority of that evening surrounded by family and close friends in a waiting room in Medical City Hospital in Dallas. My dad never woke up.
So, there I was, back home, destroying a bag of delicious comfort food paid for by my employer and surely delivered by an intern. As a screenwriter, I don’t have employers in the traditional sense. I’m a freelance writer-for-hire. I come in, do the best job I can, hope like hell the movie gets made, and then go on my merry way to the next gig. To be on the receiving end of such a thoughtful gesture from my non-traditional employer… that was cool. And, I was grateful.
What I didn’t know at the time was that I was about to be let go from the project. They wanted to take things in a new direction. My non-traditional employer was about to be my non-existent employer. They knew this. I did not. And yet, they still sent the food.
A few years have passed. The grief of losing a parent starts to fade over time. It’s funny how I can barely even remember the funeral services or the hundreds of hugs, tears, and laughs I shared with friends and family. That entire week in Texas is a blur.
But for whatever reason, the memory of that bag of Lemonade comfort food remains crystal clear. Because it was exactly what I needed at exactly the right time, and there were no strings attached. I’ve got nothing but gratitude to show for it.
Los Angeles, California