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Turning bad bananas into banana bread

Posted by MarlenaBooks Admin on

Today's blog post is going to be a bit unconventional. Many of you recognize my grandmother Marilyn as the face of Marlena Books, but she is only one half of the dynamic duo that inspired Marlena Books to be what it is today. The name Marlena comes from a combination of my grandmother's names, Marilyn and Helena. Helena, my other grandmother passed away a year ago today, and this blog post is dedicated to her, and what I have learned from living a year without her. 

grandmother with dementia on boat

We all know that losing someone is not easy. Trying to find the positive in a very negative situation is often difficult, but if anyone knew how to do this it was Helena. Helena was a wonderful baker, and would frequently treat us to her delicious desserts (her shortbread cookies changed my life). Beyond shortbread cookies, Helena made a mean banana bread. It was through watching her bake this that I learned one of my most valuable life lessons to date.  She would take all of the bad bananas, and make them into the best banana bread ever. I think she applied that concept to her life. Her life was not always easy, and I think metaphorically life handed her a lot of bad bananas, but she was determined to make banana bread out of it. As I watched her battle breast cancer for over 3 years, I never heard her complain, not even once. She was the face of bravery and grace, I still don't know how she did it. 

grandmother with grandchildren in garden
Now this is a nice story and all, but how can we all apply this concept to our lives? Well, a lot of our readers have a loved one or friend living with dementia. Maybe life handed you a bad banana, that is something we cannot change. However, I encourage everyone to live a little more like Helena today, and find a way (no matter how small) to turn that banana into some sweet smelling banana bread. 

women kissing grandmother
To my grandmother Helena, thank you for teaching me about bravery in the most selfless way possible. A year without you has been unlike any other, but I think you'd be happy to know I'm still making banana bread. 

Before Helena passed my sisters and I held a fundraiser where we donated our hair to raise money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Society and created a video to showcase at the event. It provides a good insight on how Helena lived her life, to view the video, click here [available on desktop only].

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