Mom – Thoughts on Love and Loss

11888059_10153425792830041_3679852485568857972_nMy Mom is gone, and I am struggling to make sense of it.  Grief is blinding, crushingly blinding.   

It all happened so quickly. While vacationing with H and J in Hawaii, I received a call that she was taken to the hospital.  It didn’t seem like anything to be overly concerned about.  It was likely her gallbladder; the family would keep me updated.  Jael and I had plans to travel to Kentucky to visit family the week following our Hawaii trip, so we decided to stay with those plans unless something changed.

Things changed, and they changed in a mind-bending and heart wrenching way.  Tests determined that my Mom had Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.  She was gone eleven days later.  In the blink of an eye, my whole world was turned upside down and nothing will ever be the same.

There are no words to express the feelings of deep despair and emptiness that make my heart constrict to the point where taking a breath is painful.  My mom was my life-line.  I turned to her for comfort, wisdom, honesty, and unconditional love.  She blessed my life in endless ways, and now she is gone.  I don’t know where to turn or what to do.

Mom was 86 years old and she had lived a good life.  Although she was still vibrant and active, she was ready and prepared to leave this world when her time came. On occasion, I had been honest with myself knowing she may not have many years left. But I prayed for more, for as many as I could possibly have with her. There is no one to be mad at.  I am not screaming at God and asking why. There is no one to blame.  But yet I cannot find peace.  Grief won’t allow it; not yet anyway.  So I get up every morning feeling a heaviness, a void. a longing.  And I go to bed every night with the same feelings.  I feel as though I am existing inside a sound-proof bubble.  I scream and cry and yell, but no one hears me.  Doesn’t anyone see my pain.  Shouldn’t life stop for just a little while.  But it doesn’t.
Christmas 2012010313075PSEI wish you had known her.  She was so sweet, and forgiving, and intelligent.  At her funeral, my family and I heard over and over again just how kind my mom was.  She was the most selfless person I have ever known, never uttering a bad word about anyone.  The best way to describe her is that she was full of grace.  I was the luckiest daughter ever to have had her for my Mom.

And where do I go from here.  I don’t even know where to begin.  I will move through the grief one day at a time.  I know harder days are still ahead of me.  I will bake.  Baking is where I escape when I am in need of solitude.  And that is what I need most right now.  Just to be alone.
Pie Crust With Mom Collage4Baking day with Mom



Blueberry and Cream Cheese Hand Pies

Blueberry and Cream Cheese Hand Pies RecipeI know, I promised you the recipe for these lovely little hand pies a very long time ago.  My apologies!  I got distracted, and busy, and wrapped up into many other things that kept me from posting.  Did I mention that my computer went on the fritz?  Yes, that happened too.  Fortunately, I’m getting the recipe to you in plenty of time to make these little cuties for your upcoming Red, White, and Blue holiday celebrations. Continue reading

Easy Cherry Jam

Cherry Jam RecipeWe are smack dab in the middle of Cherry season and I am jumping up and down with joy.  I cannot get enough of those meaty, juicy, little red orbs of deliciousness.  As I was wrist deep in red stains from pitting the cherries for this recipe, the thought occurred to me that if cherries were in season year-round, I would have a red nose.  Yep, I would be walking around looking like I was related to Rudolph.  You know how babies develop an orange nose when first introduced to carrots?  To test for allergic reaction when transitioning a baby to solid food, you feed them one food at a time for a number of days.  When testing carrots, little ones often ‘grow’ an orange nose. It’s the beta-carotene in the carrots that turns their little noses orange.  Similarly, it’s the particular flavonoids found in cherries that make them red.  Anyway…my point to all this is to say, if I could eat cherries year-round, I would most certainly have a red nose.  I just can’t get enough of them. Continue reading

Whole-Grain Blueberry Muffins

Whole-Grain Blueberry Muffins  RecipeI’m a huge fan of muffins, and an even bigger fan of blueberries.  Based on those two facts, you would think I was also a fan of blueberry muffins.  Not so!  I have rarely met a blueberry muffin that was worth my time.  Here’s why.  Nine times out of ten, they usually amount to little more than an unfrosted yellow cupcake with blueberries scattered throughout.  No thank you! Continue reading

Dark Chocolate ‘Beer’ Cake with Sour Cream Caramel Frosting

Chocolate 'Beer' Cake w Sour Cream Caramel Frosting RecipeIt’s official!  I finally had my first beer –  in a cake that is.  😉  In all the hundreds of cakes I have eaten to date, not one had beer in it.  My Dad was an incredible cake baker, and although he was forever pulling one from the oven, I don’t ever remember him baking one with beer.  Which is ironic since my Dad loved his beer.  I vividly remember begging sips of brew from him as he enjoyed a can or two after a long day’s work at the factory.  Dad was a perfectionist when it came to the glass he used for his beer.  Not the shape, rather the cleanliness.  Once, he even gave me a demonstration on the proper way to clean a beer glass.  ‘You have to clean it really well with hot soapy water, then rinse it with cold water.  Cold water kills the suds.  Any soap residue left on the glass will make the beer go flat, and a great glass of beer has to have a nice head of foam’.  Those were his precise instructions. Continue reading