The Wendy Story
THE WENDY STORY is a very relevant core piece of the existence and unfolding history of Mira's Homemade; it needs to be told. I cannot help but believe that such serendipity came about from love, and that somewhere on the other side of the Veil, Wendy is very much alive and continuing to work on behalf of her global family. We hope you make the same connection after reading her story:
Wendy was an extraordinary woman. When cancer swept her away from this world in March 2011, it felt as if all the lights of Earth and Heaven diminished.
Wendy believed that many of the world's challenges could be solved through the empowerment of women. She was a fierce advocate for peace & love both globally and within oneself. She lived as she believed and demonstrated her commitments in all her undertakings which is an impressive and prolific list. Peace and love defined and guided her, its message captured in this photo taken shortly before she passed away. It is this photo that I keep on the driver side visor of my car. It is not unusual for me to pull down the visor and speak with Wendy as if she were sitting in the seat next to me.
Several months into launching Mira's Homemade, I was having some serious doubts about whether or not my fledgling business would survive. I wasn't having any luck finding a sales intern despite several good leads and many time-consuming efforts. I knew I couldn't grow the business without someone to make sales calls while I focused on making granola.
I had left a good-paying job to be independently fulfilled knowing that would add considerable stress to my husband's long, demanding work hours. If I didn’t find someone to expand sales of the granola (and it had to be someone willing to be unpaid, making the search all-the-more challenging) I knew that Lewis and I would have to cut our losses and move on.
While driving one day in the thick of this stressful period, torn between persevering or quitting, I pulled down the visor and started talking to Wendy. I knew if she were still with us she would want to help me. I asked her for a sign - any sign - to let me know if we should stay the course or not. I promised to pay attention for the sign and to respect it no matter what it indicated, then went about life as usual.
Less than forty-eight hours later an email from a total stranger arrived to my work address. She had bought my raw snackable granola and really liked it. She mentioned being a recent graduate with a degree in communication, while holding a second degree in nutrition.
When I read the next sentence I nearly fell off my chair. She was wondering if I had any need for an [unpaid] intern and attached her very impressive resume for consideration! I was almost shaking, certain I was in the midst of a day-dream that would soon dissipate. Quickly, to keep it real, I made an appointment to meet her.
After our initial meeting I knew I had my intern. She was more than I could have imagined. I almost wanted to poke her to make sure she was solid, not the angel I was certain she was. Naturally I had to tell her what we at Mira's Homemade now affectionately and gratefully refer to as The Wendy Story. I finished by saying that I had no doubt she was that ‘sign’ I asked Wendy for that day in my car.
Nina quickly became an invaluable asset, and eventually, my business partner.
The story doesn’t end there. A few weeks into working together, she mentioned her dad had his own business and said he might be able to answer questions I had.
Lacking business experience I felt the need to meet her father and pick his business brain. Within a week he graciously met with me and Lewis and was indeed very helpful.
Toward the end of our meeting we veered away from business to other subjects, one of which led to our saying we were from Bryn Athyn. This caused him to pause for a moment. He then said he knew someone from Bryn Athyn who had, at one time, worked for his company. Naturally, Lewis and I were curious to know who that might be since we know most everyone in our little town. I have to say, we weren’t expecting his answer, not even remotely.
When he said their ex-CFO was named Malcolm Walter, Lewis and I nearly hit the floor. "Malcolm Walter? Are you kidding?!” we exclaimed at the same time. Then we both turned to Nina and said, “Do you know who that is?! Malcolm Walter is Wendy's husband!"
We asked Nina if she had told her dad The Wendy Story. He asked to hear it so I offered it from my grateful heart, knowing that in the telling Wendy was somewhere nearby, assured that I had received her message, and that all would be well.
The truly amazing end (or beginning) of The Wendy Story is where Wendy led us: back to the family for whom Malcolm had worked more than twelve years earlier, and for whom we had personally grown affection. And because of Nina, our snackable, raw granola is now sold in a number of states and several dozen stores including Whole Foods. And while Nina will be leaving Mira's Homemade at the end of 2015 to pursue other endeavors, her accomplishments here, and our gratitude for her, are immeasurable.
Mira's Homemade simply would not exist had she not walked into that store that day and bought my granola. What drew her to it? No one can really say. I believe that the power of love is the greatest force between our world and the life existing beyond it. Wendy's love was always powerful and I am convinced that it is even more so now.
It is true that the lights of Earth and Heaven seemed to diminish after Wendy's passing but in a very meaningful way they appear to have regained their splendor as a result of these affirming events. I know she knows this, but it bears repeating here: Thank you, Wendy, you have our gratitude and love forever!
ENDING WORLD HUNGER by 2030 - A central focus of Wendy's heart, FEEL GOOD was co-founded by her daughter, Kristin Walter, and Talis Apud-Hendricks.