Do you follow @glutenfreegarage on Instagram? These were our best nine photos of 2015. There were friends, family, fried potatoes and the new love of my life, a tiny dog called Chiquita (Chicky). You may have noticed that we didn’t run Gluten Free Garage last year and our website was quiet. That’s because a very close family member was sick with cancer and I spent much of my time with him.
My uncle Michael was a volunteer at three Gluten Free Garage events. Here he is with some of our other dedicated volunteers (my mom and aunts) at the fall 2013 GFG. Ever since I was a little girl, he was like a big brother to me. And, later, a best friend and confidante. Michael was my person. He made me—and so many other people whose lives he touched—laugh a little louder, smile a little wider, live a little better. As his pancreatic cancer was progressing, I wanted so spend every precious moment with him that I could. Which meant sacrificing Gluten Free Garage, a decision that didn’t come easy to me but one that I do not regret. On September 11, 2015, Michael passed away.
Michael was too sick to volunteer at the last Gluten Free Garage in November 2014 but he mustered up whatever energy he could to pop in and visit his gluten-free god-daughter at her favourite food event.
Gluten Free Garage remains close to my heart and, as a mother of a child with celiac disease, I feel strongly that even though gluten-free food is so widely available these days there is still a need for a curated gluten-free marketplace in Toronto. Many of you do, too, as evidenced by the emails we get asking us when the next GFG is happening. As my uncle Michael would say, the show must go on! We’ll be back at the Wychwood Barns on May 1, 2016 to kick off Celiac Awareness Month! I would love to hear your thoughts. Are you ready for Gluten Free Garage #5?