If someone wants to send me to a lunch with Kelly Ripa and chef Tom Collichio, well, I’m not going to say no. Especially when Champagne is involved. So when Electrolux invited me to the “Party Ready” shin-dig in Manhattan the other day, I said yes. Mostly, though, I went for Laura.
Laura is my neighbor who passed away last month from ovarian cancer. As I wrote last week at my new site, ParentingWithCancer.com, Laura and I were class moms together when our sons were in kindergarten. Since then, we’d see each other on various sidelines and in the bleachers at band recitals, and she always had a smile and a wave for me.
I had no idea she was sick until I found out she’d died. I heard the news from my 12-year-old, who’d heard it on the school bus and no doubt understood how close he’d come to being where Laura’s son is now when I had cancer four years ago. I wish there was something I could have done for Laura while she was still here with us, but she kept it a secret from all but their closest of friends. I think about her often.
At the party on Wednesday, I made sure I met some of the people from the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, an organization that Kelly Ripa and Electrolux have teamed up with to raise money for ovarian cancer research. Ovarian cancer is often not detected until it’s in its late stages, its symptoms often vague and easy to pass off as “time of the month” side effects. By the time you find it, often it’s too late to treat it, so it’s especially important to research for better detection and spread information about the disease.
After Wednesday’s demonstration on how to be “party ready’ for unexpected guests, an executive from Electrolux revealed to me that his wife is a remarkable 12-year survivor of ovarian cancer. When I told him I was a three-and-a-half year lymphoma survivor, we hugged each other. Survivors and the people who love them just have to hug now and then. Please excuse us.
As always, Kelly Ripa, ever entertaining and kind, is helping Electrolux raise money for the OCRF at her site, Kelly Confidential. Electrolux will donate $1 every time someone writes in how they’d be “party ready” for last minute guests. (I wrote “Order in,” but I don’t think that’s what they had in mind.) You can also enter to win one incredible refrigerator, the kind you’d see on one of the Real Housewives episodes, entirely free of little fingerprints. Please consider dropping by to make your mark for the OCRF.
Meanwhile, a shout out to Jennifer Perillo of In Jennie’s Kitchen, who was giving me my own personalized cooking tips during the lunch, because Lord knows, I need them. I’m hoping her site will help me break out of my hurry-up-we-have-soccer-practice style of cooking.
I also got to meet up with the lovely and talented “Sarah Viz” of In the Trenches of Mommyhood. We’d met at another Electrolux event last year (see In a Mom Blogger’s Shoes) , but she had her three boys with her, and I had my two boys with me, so we pretty much had the chance to shout at each other in passing and point out where the bathrooms were and that’s about it.
This time, though, we were kid-free and, therefore, had the chance to check each other’s teeth for broccoli rabe before our group photo with Kelly and Tom, which I haven’t seen yet. But here, you can see our teeth are nice and clear, thus making us close friends:
If you’re wondering who took all these photos of me and my rained-out hair, it’s the wonderfully talented Beth Feldman of Role Mommy. Beth put me in her fabulous magazine, Project You, this month. Thanks Beth!
Eventually, I had to go home and stand on a soccer sideline, watching ominous clouds head our way. Amazingly, the rain held off the entire game, even though we’ve had downpours for about a week. I do believe that I have Laura to thank for that.