Friday, November 15, 2013

Tribute to The Queen of All Daring Bakers, Lis

I feel kind of strange as I write this as I have never done anything like this before but it is something I really wanted to do.  Tuesday night after I got home from a social event and found an email waiting for me from someone I didn't know.  That email was to tell me that Lis; one of the founders of The Daring Kitchen website; had passed away earlier that day.  My heart sunk.

I have been a part of the Daring Kitchen; first the bakers and then the cooks; since early 2010.  I had just become a stay at home dad with an infant so the challenges were a great diversion.  I really didn't know much about Lis, her intros to the challenges were always full of energy and humor, but that is all I knew.  That all changed late in 2011.  Lis posted a message that she needed some technical help with the site and I volunteered. 

The past three years I have been much more involved with Lis and the site.  She would email me often with different tasks or questions on the site.  I never really felt that it was a chore.  Lis's emails were always full of humor and she always sounded genuinely grateful for everything I did.  She even sent me several gifts just as a small thank you.  I never asked for anything in return but I know that she always wanted the site to make enough money so that she could pay the people that were helping her out. 

I know I was surprised at how much her death has affected me.  They say this electronic age is making us all have less "real" relationships.  Lis is someone I have never met, never heard her voice, and I don't even know what she looked like.  But in her emails, she would always ask about family, or my job, and she would always talk about some of the things she was going through.  She would complain about some of her health issues, but always kept her humor even in that.  When I heard of her death I didn’t feel as if it was just an electronic relationship.  I had two nights with not much sleep and it felt every bit real.  I have been dealing with some website things and I keep thinking I can just email Lis to ask her.  I see that cookbook she sent me or the product I just reviewed, strange how many things I have to remind me of someone I never met.

I have felt very encourage by all the things people in the group are doing with this.  I am both sad and happy at the same time reading how she has touched so many of the other members.  Many of the members are cooking or doing a challenge in memory of Lis and I only wish I would have had the time to do something like that, but for now this will have to suffice.  I haven’t had much time yet to look at what everyone else has done today but I look forward to reading all of it.

So what about the website.  Like I said, for the past three years I have been the tech guy on the site.  I am the only one other than Lis that even has access to the whole site.  I have to admit, when I was first told the news, I just assumed the website would go away.  I knew Lis did a lot to keep it going and I knew that I did not want to take all that on myself.  Well, now it is starting to become obvious that it is not going to go away.  I have been contacted by several people who don’t want this community Lis helped create to go away, and some have even offered to help :)  Some have even been in contact with Lis’s husband and I am told that he doesn’t want it to end either.  The bottom line is, there are still some hurdles to get over, but we are going to do our best at keeping this thing going.


John SleepingBear M said...

Thank you! I knew Lis and this would be exactly what she would hope for.

kelly said...

Todd, I am so thankful for your words today which are perfect without something baked. Yet I am so sorry I was the bearer of that sad news. If I have learned anything about the relationships I have built with people from blogging, it is that they are every bit as real and sometimes more powerful than those with friends I've had for years minus the web connection. I will be in touch with you about more when Lis' family has time to grieve. In the meantime, please take care, and thank you so much for being there to help keep the Daring Kitchen running.

Shelley C said...

All I can do, Todd, is thank you. Your help to Lis over the last three years, and now your help to keep things going - it's huge. And it's wonderful. And it's the best tribute to Lis imagineable.

Joanne T Ferguson said...

G'day Todd! Your tribute to Lis today made my skin tingle and with a tear in my eyes, true!
For someone we all never met, Lis was an extraordinary person and if there is something I can help with to keep the site going, please let me know and our thoughts and condolences to Lis' family and worldwide friends too!
Cheers! Joanne

Andrea Meyers said...

I'm so glad the Daring Kitchen will keep running. Thank you for all the work you have done on it. I know Lis would be glad that it will continue.

Lisa_Michele said...

What a lovely tribute, Todd. She adored you and was so grateful for all you did for her. I remember I emailed you super late with an issue when I was putting up my chicken ballotine challenge, and you immediatey remedied it. I thank you for that..and thank you for keeping The Daring Kitchen running perfectly all these years. You took great care of her 'baby' :)

Rebecca said...

What a lovely tribute. I'd be happy to help out in any way I can to keep the site going.

bellini said...

The blogging community has lost a very special lady. We all learned so much with a sense of style, humility and humour,and ALWAYS laughter and fun. We may no longer be Daring Bakers but we are still those fledgling bloggers in spirit who rose to every challenge. Thank you Lis.