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Three tarts on a wooden board, surrounded my red flowers and green leaves. Each tart is round with chocolate swirl.

“I love it. I'm so happy.”

There are some emotions we hold close to the surface. We can't contain them. When asked how we are, the words and emotions spill out, and the feelings become palpable for the person asking.

That's how it felt when I had lunch with Kate.

Our family has known Kate for over 30 years, meeting when Brett and Kate went to kinder together at Taralye, a school for the deaf. We had lunch, as I was excited to hear about Kate's new job.


"Are you happy?" I asked. 

"I'm so happy. I love it" said Kate. As she looked away, her body gave a little jump. Like her heart was beating fast. 

"I love hospitality. I love it. I'm so happy."

Kate would say that another four times throughout our lunch. 


Born with a cleft palate and hearing loss, which impacted her speech, school life was not kind to Kate.

Where joy had poured out a moment before, as we reflected on school years, the sadness sat equally close to the surface, a hollowing of the stomach, a heaviness in the chest.

Together with a speech therapist, Kate is working hard on her speech. Learning to relax during conversation, move her mouth more, not hold everything so tight. Kate wants people to understand her more easily, engage in conversation and show compassion when words don't form as intended.

We spoke of friendships and dreams.

"I'd love to travel. To America, to Canada."

What do you dream of for work?

"To be working front of house where I am. To work with the customers." 

These dreams feel within reach. 


Our conversation reminds me of the importance of meaningful work. Not only to feel productive, but for the sense of community, the camaraderie, the beating heart when we've found a place to belong. 

Today, I say thank you to Kate. For a gorgeous lunch, and for fuelling the fire within us, to build this community of people, that want to back you, Kate, to reach your dreams. 

Jess xx



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