“Marisa MillerÂ is a married mother of two who never imagined she’d find herself relying on the kindness of others to feed her family.”
I first “met” Marisa when a mutual friend of ours “introduced” us on Twitter. I had written a sarcastic piece about Gwyneth Paltrow and this mutual friend thought she would enjoy it. As it goes with “Twitter friends,” I quickly realized we had some more things in common as we began inserting our commentary on each other’s lives – as Twitter friends are wont to do.
It seemed that every trial I had gone through, Marisa had gone through – magnified by a thousand. I wrote of a second trimester miscarriage – she spoke of a tragic stillbirth. I mentioned the fear of not making it to the hospital in time to deliver my baby – she relayed an anecdote about delivering her child, by herself, on her bedroom floor. Before I began living so much of my life on the Internet, I always thought you had to meet someone in person to really get a sense of their soul. Not Marisa. She was a badass. I knew it immediately and not only felt strangely connected to her – but stood in awe from afar of her strength.
Well, it happened again as I was reading through CNN last night, glass of wine in hand – unwinding after a long day of writing and parenting. I glanced at the headline How To Feed Your Family From A Food Bank, and saw Marisa’s byline. Could it be the Marisa I knew? A quick peek at her Twitter stream proved that it was. I went back to the story and devoured it.
The first time you wait in line at a food pantry, you tell yourself that you donâ€™t belong there and it wonâ€™t be forever because youâ€™re not like â€śthoseâ€ť people. You act timid and unsure and give up the extra pack of strawberries because you think that lady with the dirty clothes and her kids must need it more. Three years later you become a Terminator, take all the cauliflower you can and start coaching the new volunteers on organization and food safety.
What I knew of Marisa was that she was a chef and food blogger – much like most of the people I’ve surrounded myself with most of my adult life. The thing about being in the service industry is that no matter how hard things get, you always eat well. For this reason – no matter how hard it got after the birth of my first child- I still never knew hunger. When we had our second child and things became impossible financially – we moved so we could be closer to my family. I am lucky to have that kind of support, and moved my whole life to an unfamiliar city simply for the assurance that my kids would never have to know hunger, either.