Working the dough by the grace of God...

These past few weeks have been emotional for me to say the least.

My grandfather’s health was declining and it was becoming evident that he didn’t have much time left. I received disheartening news:

And there I was 3705.4 miles away – just to be exact – and it is during times like this where I feel far, far away from my roots.

I was following the process of my grandfather, the old baker, slipping further and further away. I of course could not physically be present for this – so saying goodbye was something I did in my heart knowing that he was ready to be at peace.

Finally on a Friday he slipped away into the land of Gods, spirits or who knows where. I’m hoping it’s a place of happiness, butter cookies, love and delicious pastries.

I was, again, confronted with the reality of living on the other side of the world. Living in a place that I now call “home”, yet I also have another “home”, my home country, Denmark.

I jumped on a plane to participate in the funeral and family gatherings as the thought of not participating just didn’t sit well with me.

I was reminded of the importance of family – of coming together to celebrate - whether it be a new life or the end of a life.

Being there with my family reconnected me to what I truly believe is most vital:

Family, Love & Connection – and I was honored to be reminded of my roots – of the legacy that my grandfather and late grandmother left behind.

During the service the minister talked about how my grandparents had created a home full of love, diversity, adventure and acceptance. A home that welcomed artists, the homeless, and the wealthy – no one was too big, too small, too important or not important enough to be welcomed with open arms and hearts.

I have many fond memories of my grandfather – most of which revolve around bread and pastries. Every Tuesday afternoon he would pick my sister and me up from school and per our request we would make homemade pizzas. I vividly remember his big hands working the dough – his hands were abnormally big – almost like backhoe shovels. Yet, his attention to detail (also the very refined!) was impeccable.

As I reflect upon my grandfather’s life and career I believe the most central part of his life was his profession. He shared the business with my grandmother and honestly I believe they had one simple hope and goal with their business:

To bring people together through bread, pastries and cakes.

Think of every country you have ever visited… What’s a place we always turn to for comfort in taste and smells? The Bakery! It’s a central part of so many cultures – it’s universal. It has no language. No color. No religion.

During my grandfather’s last days he asked my mother “Can you please help me cross over…? I don’t have an agreement worked out with God”.

I don’t think he had a problem though. In my opinion my grandfather served *God* every day through his profession. He was a baker by the grace of God. He was not a religious man, however, he always pointed out that the only profession mentioned in the Lord’s Prayer was his.

I cried when I heard that he had passed away at 88. That night I had a dream which made me wake up smiling:

I dreamt that granddad crossed over, gently flying away… on a puff pastry.