Hello friends. Once again, it’s been a while. I hope you are healthy and well.
I had plans to write about Thanksgiving, gratitude, silver linings and pies. An encouraging message during trying times.
And then, I found out a truly special person passed away. My heart broke, I lost my breath, and I sat in front of my computer, stunned. How could I write about Thanksgiving, gratitude, silver linings and pies given the news?
One day later, it all made sense.
I met Michael Tobia in 2014, interestingly and serendipitously, right before Thanksgiving. He was the Chairman of the Mt. Calvary Community Supper, and I was a baker. It was a connection that was meant to be. Michael was a born salesperson. Friendly. Fast talking. Fast moving. A whirlwind of excited energy that was infectious and impressive. All I remember is that I said yes before I really understood the request.
Pies. Thanksgiving. Community Supper.
Members of my temple’s Sisterhood gathered at Bisousweet and we baked pumpkin pies. 86 to be exact. Pies delivered, Michael followed up with a thank you, some business advice, and two dates in December when he would love some more treats if possible. “We’ll take whatever you’ve got.”
His requests were never small. His smile always quick. His dedication palpable and present in every interaction.
What I most admired about Michael was his innate ability to draw people into his efforts to help others. He was direct, organized, mission-focused and humble. He galvanized so many of us with the sole purpose of providing food, connection and respect to those in need. He embodied the spirt of ‘can do’, rallied people to help, and was the master of rigorous reminder emails that arrived like clockwork.
I miss those emails already.
Sometimes, it’s hard to see the silver lining, especially when life feels dark, bleak, empty. Perhaps today, the silver lining is realizing how many lives Michael imprinted simply by living his values of what mattered to him.
Michael Tobia, you truly were one of the good ones.
Sending love and support to all who were lucky enough to know him.