My Sister is a Food Network Star!

Photos by Maria Killam

Last summer my sister Anita and her family got selected to star on a show called the Family Cook-off on the Food Network. This was the setting that day at Granville Island. It just aired on Friday night so now I’m allowed to post about it.

Luukas (my nephew) and Anita (my sister)

My sister and I have not been getting along well lately (something happened). And last weekend I was in a course with Landmark Education called Direct Access. One of the things the forum leader said was “I’m okay with anyone in my life that walks into the door”. And I thought ‘I want to be that person, and actually right now things are not okay with my sister”.

Aaron (her husband) and Jordon (Aaron’s son)

So at one point during the weekend I stood up to express my frustration with her and get some coaching and I said “She brings up stuff that happened between us 20 years ago“, and he said “I promise you, if you had authentically apologized for what you did or said, she would not be talking about it“.  That hit me like a ton of bricks because he was right. So I called her to let her know that I would apologize until she got it, for judging her smoking, not sticking to the vegetarian diet that we were raised on and many other things that hurt her back then.

My sister and her son Luukas made vegetarian sloppy joes and Aaron and Jordon made a no-bake cheesecake with strawberries and they won! The prize was $1000 in groceries and a golden frying pan.

On the way to the Design Boggers Conference in LA a few weeks ago, I sat beside a very interesting woman on the plane and we got to talking about sisters and forgiveness and she said “Every time I think I’m not going to forgive someone I think about a story I heard a long time ago. In some parts of China if someone is committed of a crime against you, they get tied up and thrown into a lake. And you choose whether to go after them and untie them, or leave them to drown”.

Such a great metaphor for forgiveness because it’s basically the same thing but the suffering lasts much longer. It interrupts family functions overall, life is not as happy and I really do want to be okay with whoever walks into the door in my life.

My sister is having a big party tonight  to celebrate their win and being on the show and now I’m invited, I called her last week and she generously forgave me back!

Have a great weekend everyone! xo Maria

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  1. I know the weight that not being o.k. with family weighs. then with just a few words, all the negative feelings are literally lifted from your spirit, and you can move on. with family I TRY to keep my judgements to myself, because, now I know that those judgements hurt more than I was ever aware. you two looks like ‘peas in a pod’.

  2. Maria,

    I am so proud of you! It takes a super generous person to take a hard look at oneself and “make it work”. Life is too short to let words and feeling hold you hostage to a universe filled with goodness for both of you. Yay! Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you both.

    Bette

  3. So happy for you and your sister and really thrilled about their winning first prize. With all the wonderful cooking she must have learned from your mother – how could she not win?
    By the way memories of the C-I-M which I try to keep in mind constantly is – “Would you rather be right or happy”? After that it is a simple choice.
    Jean x

  4. Maria…..my sister and I have had many periods of not talking…..but she just recently had open heart surgery! That got us together again after 7 months of not speaking. It’s not easy but it would have been terrible if something had happened…..

  5. Thank you for sharing this. A great philosophy to live by. My sister and I have been on the outs for a long time. Time to work this out and move on.

  6. We can choose our friends but we can’t choose our family … I’m still struggling with mine (brother) and probably always will. You’re very lucky to have your sister back! Enjoy life Maria!
    Donna
    xo

  7. Congratulations on putting your past in your past! What a blessing to your whole family!
    Thank you for talking about how you got to that point -that Landmark was the context in which you “got” it.
    And congratulations to your sister and her family for their success in the spotlight.

  8. Who knows how many people might be transformed by your sharing your story Maria? Forgiveness is hard but forgiveness is healing, whereas carrying the burden of guilt, resentment, et al are all difficult and are all destructive to us. May you and your sister’s relationship be stronger now and continue to grow. Blessings, Karen

  9. Maria – thank you so, so much – blog world is at its best when it can help others – your words are wise and I’ll try to remember them. Again, thank you.

  10. Wow! What a post!!! Especially the story about how the people of some areas of China handle personal transgressions! I am happy for you and for your sister! Also think it is wonderful that they won on FN!!
    For some of us who struggle with forgiveness, it truly can be the ultimate “F” word in our lives…especially when it is family. I hope we can all grow and embrace the blessings of all you have shared today. Thank you, Maria.

  11. What a unique week because I went to Mass on Tues. morning and the priest was talking about forgiveness, then this morning at mass he was talking about forgiveness again and then I come home and read your post. I guess it is time to forgive someone in my life too. Thank you so much and I am so happy for you and your sister!!!!! I love the metaphor of the drowning or saving! Thank you and have a great day!

  12. Hello Maria,
    This blog was great. It is a gift to all of us. Life is just too short! Let’s move on and have fun..
    In the words of singer Ellis Paul: ‘Thank the Lord for the friends (family, people, etc…) he cast in the play he wrote for you.’
    Congratulations to Anita, to you and your successful family!

  13. Thanks for that post Maria—I think the universe is telling me something: I have had some bad news about my son and I am so angry with him for what he’s done “to me” — I will work on keeping the China analogy in my head, because I do love him and he really hasn’t done anything to me, he’s just not doing what I want him to do! Thanks again for sharing such an honest reflection/experience.

  14. Wow Maria, I am so proud of you–not ONLY did you do the hard thing–asking for forgiveness, but you had the strength of character and “backbone” to write about it for all to share. We ARE inspired !! This is a greater and more difficult and loving accomplishment than if your work were published on the cover of a major magazine. May God return the blessing to you 100 fold! Thanks for this!!
    XO, Paula

  15. That’s wonderful, Maria. I hope the party went well and that you have reconnected with your sister. I have a sister who didn’t speak to me for 19 years because I called her out on a insult that I felt she threw my way – we will never recover fully from that, but do come together for family events. It’s tough with family sometimes, but so worth it.

  16. Your story really touched me. Good for you for admitting your part and giving the authentic apology needed. Hope things continue to improve with you and your sister. Life is too short, and family is too precious to let things fester (if there’s any way to have a good relationship).

  17. Maria,
    What a wonderful reminder. Why do we find it so hard to simply do what is right? Forgiveness sets US free as well the one who was harmed. Great post my sweet friend. And I am SO glad they won. Sounds yummy.
    xoxo
    Cindy

  18. So inspiring, Maria. You and Anita are such special women and I always feel so proud of both of you. Keep loving your sisters, it makes my world a better place. xoxoxoxo

  19. What an inspiring post, Maria. I am especially captivated by what the Landmark leader said about “authentically apologizing.” How true is that in so, so many instances??? It certainly spoke to me!