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.