January 19, Tripper Clancy

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
  • Cookies

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.

–Tripper Clancy

Los Angeles, California


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