Diagnosis and demi-glace

May 17, 2009

Ask any chef and they will tell you a story about the power of a well prepared demi-glace sauce. A demi-glace is a stock cooked down over flame to its purest flavors. An exceptional demi-glace can bring any connoisseur to shed tears of joy. I was asked recently how my cancer diagnosis has changed me. While I gave the request considerable thought, I don’t believe it has changed me. What the diagnosis did was provide me the fuel for a wonderful inner demi-glace to pour over my life and my perspective. Please allow me to share the recipe.

Strength, decisiveness, courage, faith, commitment, hope and love. Before you give up on this recipe, trust me, your cupboard is not bare. Each one of us has all of these things in our life’s kitchen. You must first trust that they are there. Note that love accentuates all of the other ingredients and is key to this sauce so learn to accept it from all directions. Letting love in was the hardest part of the recipe for me, but thanks to many supportive friends and family, I now know I have a good healthy supply.

Sometimes, either by choice or circumstance, the whole life is stirred evenly over an intense flame like cancer, or divorce, a life lost or a career gone. As the burn sets in and the life begins to cook down to its essential characters, the result can be a beautiful demi-glace of highly concentrated, brave, wonderful flavors that exist within all of us. Strength and decisiveness no longer hide in the back of the cupboard, they emerge out in front of this dish as central ingredients. Hope bubbles to the top and faith and courage simmer though the entire sauce. Season with simple human nature, commitment and survival. Pour this sauce immediately over the mashed potatoes of your life. Serve it to friends and loved ones along with a great wine. Answers, faith, decisions, courage and hope will seemingly fall from the sky.

Don’t be fooled. This is a delicate sauce. It is a tiny shift in perspective that can make or break it. Learn to see the positive side of everything, even if you must force yourself to focus upon it. Laugh more than you cry. Like everything else you make in the kitchen, if all else fails, serve it with love, and appear confident to your dinner guests at all times. A weary chef gives everyone heartburn.

Pair with Prayer:
I used to be completely clueless about how to pray, always looking for the perfect recipe. I am grateful that I have learned to approach prayer the same way that I usually cook. Throw out the recipe, trust and honor your ingredients and always be thankful for the meal. Even during the darkest of times, when I was more inclined to scream at God, “help me”, I found something to inspire a prayer of thankfulness. My faith became stronger, my prayers more powerful than I ever thought possible. My life has been transformed into a fabulous spiritual meal.

Bon appetit.


8 Responses to “Diagnosis and demi-glace”

  1. Heather Backs Says:

    Beautifully written! I love it!

  2. Kim Eeftink Says:

    All I can say is……. WOW! You brought me to tears. I can’t wait till I can get to that point of inner piece like that. You are an inspiration.

  3. Keri Longaway Says:

    Ronnie, thank you for the perfect recipe — one that cannot fail when simmered with love and introspection! You occupy our hearts and thoughts, and we’re here to offer any ingredients you may desire during these coming days of healing. Please let us know if there is anything we can help with!

  4. Kim Says:

    I think you have a new career as a writer.

  5. Jennifer Says:

    Ronnie – reading your words swept peace over me and qualmed my own fears – that my friend has not changed and she’s armed and ready for the next round. I just heard the bell ring, you’re about to come out from your corner … look out World.

  6. Mama Says:

    My real name is Bonnie but I am very well know at Ronnie’s house as Mama. Unlike my remarkable daughter I can not cook. As a matter of well known fact I am aka “The Microwave Queen.” But there are a few things in life I have done very well and the most important one is raising a daughter that any Mother in the world would love to call their own. Ronnie you are the joy in my recipe along with so many of your wonderful ingredients such as courage, love, faith and way to many other great things for me to mention. I am so very proud to call myself Ronnie’s mother. Now you go girl and I know nothing will keep you down. Well OK maybe my cooking might but keep in mind it is only till you are back on your feet. If anything look at it as motivation to get stronger quickly. All joking aside remember if God brings you to it he will bring you through it.

    Really now don’t each of you hope and pray that your daughter will turn out as great as mine did? I have been so blessed.

  7. Dez Says:

    All I can think to say is…. WOW!!! You are a very talented writer…. and your outlook is awesome! I am praying for you… and can’t wait for you to sign my personal copy of your first literary contribution!
    Keep it up…. I know it will not only help, but inspire, others. Everything I read was heart-stirring, inspirational, or just plain entertaining…. that sounds like a great “recipe” for a writer, huh??? 🙂

  8. Tamara DeLand Says:

    Do you know Anne Lamott? She has a series of (non-fiction) books on her unconventional approach to Christianity. I love her! Look up THOUGHTS ON FAITH, TRAVELING MERCIES and PLAN B: SOME MORE THOUGHTS ON FAITH. Funny and powerful stuff. You will like her!

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