It's been a challenging week and those of you who have followed me for a while know I don't like to abandon you like I did this past week or so. Unfortunately something in my life took precendence and required me to take some time away to be with my family. Last week my Mom passed away after battling pancreatic cancer for over a year. While she had been sick, her passing was sudden and heartbreaking for my family and I. The woman who taught me to bake and cook is no longer a phone call away to guide me through the mistakes I make or talk me off the ledge when it really isn't that bad. It's hard to comprehend, but there is some comfort knowing she is at peace. Many friends and family have shared their sympathies and memories of Mom. It's been overwhelming and emotional and really, there aren't many word to explain this hole in my heart.
Two Thanksgiving's ago, I hosted the feast and cooked my first turkey, complete with all the sides and traditions. I had no idea what I was doing, but Mom was with me, guiding me through each step and making fun of my detailed and annotated timeline to ensure all the dishes would arrive to the table in time and hot. But when my dish of salt accidentally fell off the top of the stove and into the gravy, she immediately helped me fix it and brushed it off as no big deal. The gravy was a little salty, but without her help it would have been very salty.
I have many wonderful memories of Mom and I in the kitchen, me sitting at the table watching her roll dough, chop vegetables, make potato salad, or decorate cakes. I would watch every move, not just to learn, but in awe that my Mom was so good at that stuff. While most of my friends got store bought birthday cakes, Mom would make detailed replicas of Cookie Monster or whatever struck our fancy that year, and she made it look easy (but I know it wasn't).
I'll look forward to teaching my nieces, with my sister, how to make perogis and chocolate and fudge. It won't be the same, but somehow her memory will live on.
The Cookie Princess