Eat, Pray, Love.

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This post started out about pot roast.  And as I was writing about browning and caramelization and braising techniques, all of the words seemed silly and insignificant given the reason I was writing about pot roast in the first place.  So I decided to back up a little.

A few weeks ago my husband, children and I made the familiar drive from our home in Boise, Idaho to my hometown of Seattle, Washington.  We’ve made the drive a hundred times before, but this time was different.  I was going home to be with my Mom.  To say goodbye to my Mom.   

Mom Young-3

She fought a courageous battle with a multitude of physical trials over the past 13 years, among them being a destructively progressive case of MS and a major brain injury.  She continually defied medical odds and bounced back from near-death hospital stints time and time again.  So even though she had been sick for years, it was still a shock to suddenly hear that this time was different.  This time she wasn’t bouncing back.  This time we would bring her home, but it would be so she could finish her mortal life surrounded by her family at home.

Kathy Smith

I’m sure many of you have had similar experiences with people you love.  And like me, you have felt the weight of your world crashing down around you.  I hope you’ve also felt the buoying strength that can come in trying times from the love of both God and other people in your life.  

Sara Wells and Kathy Smith

My Mom passed away three days after I arrived.  I won’t detail everything that happened in those three days because it was a sacred, personal experience, but I was so happy I was there.  I sat at her bedside and told her I loved her.  I held her hand and told her it was okay for her to go; that she fought such a good fight and we were all going to be okay.  I told her I’d miss her every day of my life and I couldn’t wait to see her again one day.  

You might be wondering what on earth this has to do with food and blogging and pot roast.  Well the thing is, you probably know my Mom more than you realize.  

Sara Wells and Mother
Hundreds of thousands of you have read this post.  My experiences with my Mom have shaped my character and played a significant role in influencing my thoughts and feelings about Motherhood.

I grew up at her side in our  kitchen.  She taught me that food is a way to show love and help people connect with one another.  Our kitchen table was evidence of that, and so much of my life is built around that now.  My Mom taught me how to cook.  She never realized it, nor did she ever really get to understand what Kate and I have built here.  When I was at her house after she died, I found this copy of our very first cook book.  I remember my sister sending me a text about it at the time.  I sent a copy home to my parents and my Mom put post-it notes on all of the recipes that looked good.  So like, every page.  I laughed because so many of those very recipes were ones she taught me to make!  She didn’t know, and couldn’t remember.  After my Mom’s passing, Kate pointed out how cool it is to think that my Mom can finally see all that we’ve worked so hard to build here and she would love it.

Our Best Bites Cook Book

On the drive back home to Idaho after she passed away, my mind was flooded.  We were quickly trying to pull together funeral arrangements, and I would only be home in Boise for a few days before we turned around and made the drive back home to Seattle again for her burial.  The previous weeks and days had been emotionally exhausting and my heart ached.  We pulled into Boise with our car full of tired children at 11:30pm on a Saturday but before heading to our home we went to the grocery store. Because I needed a chuck roast.

Boise was cool and drizzly that weekend and the following day was Sunday.  In the final hours of our drive home, all I could think about was how that next day I wanted to curl up on my couch with a blanket and smell a potroast braising in the oven.  Because that’s so often what was happening in my childhood home on Sunday afternoons.  That scent was almost healing.  There is a reason they call it comfort food; my brain went straight to it without even trying.

Sara Wells

In the days and weeks that followed, friends overwhelmed me with love and service.  People showed up with at my door with beautiful flowers.  One  friend made activity bags for each of my kids for the car trip.  Others took my kids off my hands.  And they brought food.  My brother came over and noticed all of the things that had accumulated and noted sarcastically that no one brought him any food.  We laughed and noted that women know how to communicate with one another.  Most friends didn’t even say a word.  They just knocked on my door with a smile, gave me a big hug, and handed over a plate of brownies, or a pan of lasagna, or freezer meal or loaf of bread.  And I heard and felt the message that no one needed to say out loud.  

Food is love.

And that’s why I love what we do here.  My Mom taught me so much of what I know not just about  food, but gardening, home-making, life, faith, family and so much more.  And I have had the unique opportunity to share it with millions of people around the world.  Millions.  I marvel at that.  Part of that is her legacy.  

Sara Wells Instagram

So while you may have never met my Mom, you know her through her famous Mint Brownies and Peanut Butter and Jam Bars.  You’ve adopted her traditions if like me, these Cheesy twice-baked Bleu Cheese Potatoes or Overnight Sausage and Egg Casserole  grace your tables on holidays.  You’ve tasted a bit of her warmth and goodness if you’ve made her signature Candy Cane Cookies found in our second book, and her love shines through in countless other recipes on this site and in our books.  Whether she knew it or not, she’s part of Our Best Bites.  I would say the same about Kate’s Mom, who died when Kate was young.  We’re lucky to be the daughters of great women, whose shining examples continue to uplift and inspire us.  

Children with Flowers

For anyone out there experiencing trials and heartache of your own, know this. There is purpose in everything, even the darker days.  I truly believe that.  One of my favorite thoughts is by James E. Faust, and I’ve felt a renewed significance of it in these past weeks:

Here then is a great truth. In the pain, the agony, and the heroic endeavors of life, we pass through a refiner’s fire, and the insignificant and the unimportant in our lives can melt away like dross and make our faith bright, intact, and strong. In this way the divine image can be mirrored from the soul. It is part of the purging toll exacted of some to become acquainted with God. In the agonies of life, we seem to listen better to the faint, godly whisperings of the Divine Shepherd.

Into every life there come the painful, despairing days of adversity and buffeting. There seems to be a full measure of anguish, sorrow, and often heartbreak for everyone, including those who earnestly seek to do right and be faithful. The thorns that prick, that stick in the flesh, that hurt, often change lives which seem robbed of significance and hope. This change comes about through a refining process which often seems cruel and hard. In this way the soul can become like soft clay in the hands of the Master in building lives of faith, usefulness, beauty, and strength.  (-Faust, The Refiner’s Fire.)

In the weeks to come, you’ll see my pot roast recipe pop up here, and now you’ll know all the heart behind it. I hope it, along with the rest of the food we share here, helps you create traditions, memories, and safe places for your own hearts to return to. 

 

 

127 comments

  1. Oh, Sara. I am absolutely in tears for your loss and from your amazing, perfect words here. This post was so uplifting and testifying. Thank you.

  2. She sounds like a wonderful woman and that you were so blessed to have her in your life. Thanks for sharing her story.

  3. Sara – thank you for sharing. This is a wonderful reminder to me to focus on the things that matter most and that is motherhood. I hope someday my children may write similar things about me like you have about your mother. She is a shining example to all of us. May you find comfort and peace as you remember and cherish her memories.

  4. I am so sorry for your loss. I loved the quote you shared. I, also, lost my Dad in August so my heart really connected emotionally with your post. I am grateful for these trials because they offer clarity. Everything really does melt away that is insignificant, and you cling to what matters most. Now, it is to let that clarity change me forever. To learn and grow and become different. To savor every day with loved ones and strive to build my own legacy of love and service. I hope you continue to feel strength from loved ones and from God as you go through your days. Lots of love!

  5. Thank you for sharing and I’m so sorry about the loss of your mom. I lost my mom in June, and you’re right…the world just came crashing down. But my goal is to keep her memory alive by sharing all the wonderful traditions she brought into our family with our boys. Many blessings to you!

  6. Beautiful. And my condolences for your loss. Whether someone is celebrating or mourning I automatically want to feed them, and this says so beautifully why.

  7. Beautiful, beautiful words. I’ve been following your food blog religiously since 2011 when I had my first child, and MWFs are my favorite days as I start my mornings with you. I did very little cooking before having kids. Through your blog, you both have inspired me to be a better cook, a better wife, a better mother, and a better person. I have gained confidence in the kitchen through cooking your recipes, and cooking has become our family quality time. My now 4 year old son cooks with me, and my husband and I now search out more complicated, “sophisticated/adult” recipes to cook together with a bottle of wine on the weekends. We are creating family traditions and memories for my children, and I honestly credit you and Kate with that. So thank you. And thank you to both of your mothers. Food is definitely love. 🙂

  8. Sara, I was so deeply affected by your loving tribute to your wonderful mom. What a great legacy she left you which also help develope in you a kind and loving heart. I dry my own tears as I think about my own mother who really didn’t know how to cook well except for the wonderful Sunday roast we had after church. However, her legacy to me was the finest example of a Christ-like woman that I know; more precious than any worldly possession. I hope that peace and joy fills your soul after the rains and storms have ceased and your memories of your mother will become like a warm blanket to wrap you in her love and life.

  9. I’m so sorry for your loss. I just re-read your Mother’s Day post and realized I need to read it regularly to remind myself of the holiness of the job we get to do every day. I pray that you will be comforted in your loss and feel God’s love for you and your family.

  10. I’m also in tears right now from reading your lovely post. Sending hugs to you and your family and I too know that one day you will see your sweet mother again.

  11. Sara, I am very sorry fro your loss. Thank you for sharing the sweet memories and the hard times with us. I will lift you both up in prayer.

  12. Such a beautiful post. My eyes are filled with tears as you mourn your sweet mom. Sending virtual hugs and wishing I could bring you something to brighten your day. Thanks for sharing your time, talent, and mom with us. So happy we know families are forever and that you’ll see you mom again someday! Much love!

  13. I just wanted to say that you have done such a wonderful job putting into words the love and impact that you and your mom shared.

  14. What a sweet tribute to your mother, Sara. I can’t imagine all the feelings and emotions that have been crashing around you the last few weeks (and probably longer) but your faith and strength are an inspiration to me and I know to others. Thank you for giving us a glimpse into the personal side of things today – it puts life into perspective and makes me grateful for the blessings (and family) in my life even when challenges seem to be paramount. Hugs.

  15. Beautifully written! I love Kate’s words, too. Now your mom can see your life and all the good you do in their fullness. Thanks for sharing President Faust’s words and thanks for sharing your calm, reassuring testimony. I hope that the Lord will strengthen you in the coming weeks and months, as your words have strengthened me today.

  16. Beautiful post. I’m sorry for your loss. What a tremendous blessing to be raised by such a wonderful mother and to recognize it and to continue that legacy.

  17. So very sorry for your loss. You paid a wonderful tribute to your mother and I pray that you keep getting peace as you carry on!

  18. Thank you and Kate for you lovely writing and sharing so much with us. I understand your pain (my dad passed away last year after years of sickness too). But one thing I remember is that God’s plan is a PLAN OF HAPPINESS. No matter what, in the end will be pure happiness and joy. (I had an identical twin that died 3 days afer we were born, it makes me immensely happy that they are together now, waiting on us. 🙂 )

  19. What a lovely tribute to your mom and the good work you do here. Food is love, and it can bring families and people together like nothing else. May you be comforted as you mourn your sweet mother.

  20. I’m sitting here crying about the loss of a woman I never knew, whose recipes have filled my family with so much joy. Thank you for sharing just a glimpse of the beautiful relationship that you had with your mother.

  21. I’m sitting here at my computer bawling my eyeballs out thinking about what you’re going through because I’ve been there! My dad died unexpectedly 4 weeks after my 29th birthday. A lot of our family was traveling in Italy at the time because we were all there for my brother’s destination wedding. We Skyped him in for my brother’s wedding and woke up the next morning and he was gone. The most horrible day of my life was getting that phone call and having to tell my mom that her husband of 30+ years was gone. I don’t know you or your mother personally, but I do know that there is light at the end of this tunnel. I promise the heart-wrenching pain eventually eases up. I found a beautiful quote by Jeffrey R. Holland a few months after my dad’s funeral that has gotten me through some ugly crying days where I didn’t even think I could get out of bed. “If the bitter cup does not pass, drink it, and be strong, trusting in happier days ahead.” Thank you for the sharing your food, your talents, your good days, and even your sad ones!

  22. So sorry to hear of your loss. You posted this today which would have been my mother’s birthday- but she went home to our Heavenly Father 17 years ago. I still miss her but like you I have many wonderful memories and things she taught me. And yes, cooking is one of them! I share your sorrow and your faith of a future reunion

  23. What a beautiful tribute to your mom. Thank you for writing this instead of a pot roast recipe. Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  24. I bet your mom is so proud of you, now that she can see what you’ve been up to!! You are a gem for sharing something so personal so we can all be uplifted. You and Kate are amazing women!

  25. So sorry for the loss of your Mother. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. It is comforting to know that you will be with her again after this life, but it makes it difficult for now. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  26. I am so sorry for your loss. thank you for sharing the beautiful picture s of your mom, and sharing which recipes were hers. I love that picture of your first cook book and all the sticky notes. She loves you, and knew you do great things. I love what you said, “food is love.” I should seriously put that up on my kitchen wall. Especially on days when I’m barely lucky to get something on the table because life is crazy.

  27. Your beautiful words and tribute to your mom have me in tears. My heart aches for you. What a treasure to have so many wonderful memories with your mom that you’ll have with you forever. Thank you for sharing her legacy with us an for inspiring us all to create similar memories with our loved ones. Hugs to you friend!

  28. I am so very sorry for your loss. I wish you and your family peace during this difficult time. I have also been a very regular follower of your blog, though I do not often comment. Please know that I will think of your mother when my family has her breakfast casserole on Christmas morning as that has become our tradition thanks to you (and her). You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  29. What a beautiful tribute, and what grace and strength you have to share your memories and your pain. I am so sorry for your loss.

  30. As a long time reader, I feel as if my cooking abilities have increased significantly because of this blog. In addition to the food, I feel that personal posts like this one and many other ones on this blog are needed to make that extra connection with your readers. I’m so very sorry for your loss. We, as your readers, feel your pain and hope that you find solace knowing that your mom is no longer suffering.

  31. Just wanted to tell you sorry for your loss and to thank you for sharing this post. Sending you a big ((hug)). Thoughts and prayers sent to you and your family.

  32. What a heartfelt tribute to your mom. Praying that your pain eases with each passing day and that you take comfort in the cherished memories that you have of your mother.

  33. What a beautiful story. I am glad you were there for her final days, and hope that you can feel all the electronic hugs from those of us who have read your story.

  34. Sara, I sorry for your loss. Sending healing prayers to you and your family and friends. Although I’m sitting here crying thinking about my own mom who passed this year and relating your story to my own life, it also brought just as many smiles to my face thinking about my Sunday suppers and coming home from church to those same smells. Thank you for sharing. God bless you.

  35. That is such a beautiful post about something so heartbreaking. Your mom is so pretty, just like you. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for your beautiful message. Hugs!

  36. I have followed your blog for years. I too just lost my dad two months ago. I can relate to your feelings of clarity. It really opens your eyes to what really matters in this world. Thank you for sharing and I’m so very sorry for your loss.

  37. Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your life. You are inspiring. I’m sorry for your loss. You will miss her every single day. We are so blessed to understand the plan.

  38. These are the posts that make me love Our Best Bites so much. You no doubt post amazing food, and my copy of your book looks similar to your mom’s copy. 🙂 But what I love is the heart you share with it. Like you, I am connected to the recipes and meals I fix for my family because they were passed down to me by people I love; most of all my mom and her mom. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing your hurt — that’s a courageous thing to do. I hope it brings you healing as it has brought me hope today.

  39. My heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family with the loss of your mother. I’ve been an avid follower of Our Best Bites and all that it encompasses over the years- your grace and strength truly shine through. Your post today made me stop and remember my mom and the all of the special bonds we had. I’m sure you’ve touched many many readers with your reflections. God Bless!

  40. I love this post about your mom. The pictures of when she was a young mom are how I remember her. We were good friends when we were living in Renton. When I had my second boy, she wanted to give me a baby shower and I told her I didn’t need anything because I had had another boy. She let me know that having a baby was a reason to celebrate and she threw a baby shower for me anyway. (I ended up with four boys!!!) We also had Thanksgiving Dinner 1980 with your family. I was too pregnant (with that second boy) to head a few hours south to spend the holiday with my family. I loved your mom and the friendship we had back in those days when we were young moms. We are so blessed to have an understanding of life after death, but it is so hard not to have loved ones with us. Although I have discovered that sometimes they are with us and those moments are so comforting. I pray your family will be blessed during this difficult time.

  41. What a beautiful tribute to your Mother. Your love shows through with every word. How proud you made her having you for a daughter. Prayers for healing and peace and the knowledge that she is safe at last.

  42. Beautiful post that truly shows your love for your Mother. Heart felt sorrow for your loss. I have learned that you will always miss her and at times will want to pick up the phone to call and ask a question. I always love your recipes and things that you post. Heavenly Father will bless you and your family and as you know you will be with her in eternity.

  43. I’m so terribly sorry for your loss. I was only 27 when my mother passed away & at 61 I still miss her every day. Your beautiful mother is indeed a part of you & will be forever. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story with us. My prayers are with you and your family. Warm hugs to you.

  44. I am so sorry for your loss. Like many women before me, I lost my mom to cancer when I was 23, and there’s not a day goes by that I don’t wish I could have her back. Her life was too brief. Your mom was lucky to have family that loves and cares for her and that she loved and cared for. I grieve with you.

  45. Beautiful words for an equally beautiful lady from her beautiful daughter. You have q great talent in the food industry but your writings are always on point. So inspiring to all of us. Prayers to you and your family during this difficult loss.

  46. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I can’t imagine what you must be experiencing right now. I loved the beautiful quote by Elder Faust. So grateful that it sounds like you are surrounded by wonderful friends who are there to lift you up, but most importantly, the Savior.

  47. I’m so sorry for your loss. Please know you and your family are in my prayers. I love that she’s a part of so many recipes that you have shared. It’s like you have shared a part of her with us. Thank you. She sounds amazing. My sympathies for your loss.

  48. What a horribly hard post for you to write. Thank you so very much for pouring out your feelings as you did. Your Mom would be so proud of you!

  49. This Friday marks the 6 year anniversary of my moms death. She died when I was in my 20s before I had kids. She never met my beautiful daughter and I miss her every day. Now I’m pregnant with my second child and the loss of her seems vast and overwhelming once again. You’re words touched my heart and I’m so sorry for your loss. God be with you til you meet her again. She seems like such an angel and how blessed you are to call her your mother. That is something time nor death cannot take from you. Love your blog and all that it represents! Take some time for yourself – we understand!

  50. I’m writing this through a migraine and remembering both my parents, (my father died 5 years ago and my mother died 3 years ago.) The important thing is that memories of your parents and of the times they spent with you will stay with you! They live on in memories, favorite recipes, stories you pass on to others, the love they and you shared. You grew up surrounded by that love and it will continue through generations. Though you are grieving now, that comfort will always be with you. My sympathy for you and your family and my hope that happier times will ease your pain.

  51. Sara, my heart is breaking for you. I lost my Mom more than 30 years ago and everytime I make her Maple bars or a pot roast (like you), I thank God that I was able to be adult friends with my Mom before she passed. She taught me all the cooking skills but more importantly, she taught me forgiveness, mercy and what is important in life. Oddly, this is also the 2nd anniversary of brother’s passing so your post is emotional but truthful. Thank you.

  52. Dear Sarah, I wept as I read your heart aching words. And then I held my babies and gave thanks for them. God bless you and strengthen you in your sorrows. You are a hero to me! thank you for sharing your life and loves.

  53. Sara, thank you so. I have for sharing beauty, pain, and love. I’m so sorry for your loss, but rejoice with you in the knowledge that you will see your mom again one day. Love and peace be with you and your family.

  54. Beautiful. There’s a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes reading this. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and love for your mother. I am so grateful for all she taught you and that you have blessed so many lives with it! Praying for you Sara.

  55. It’s so hard to lose a parent. Sending love and warm wishes. You’ll see her in so many things that you do and it will always bring you warmth and comfort. Thanks for sharing.

  56. Sara, this is beautiful. Although I’ve only met you at a couple of book signings, I feel like you are a dear friend. Thank you for sharing this tender part of your life. I am crying for your loss and also for your amazing tribute to your mother. I know she must be so proud of you.

  57. I’m so sorry. I don’t look forward to that day when I’ll have to bury my parents. May you find peace in the coming days. Thanks for being so real.

  58. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Sympathy to you and your loved ones during this time of great loss. God will be by your side and give you the strength that you need. Fond memories are so important and it’s what you have to keep you smiling thinking of your Mother. Keep sharing food with us. : )

  59. I love all your recipes and have shared them with numerous friends and family. We have celebrated with these recipes and we have mourned our loved ones with these recipes. You spoke so beautifully of your mother and your memories of your childhood. I too learned to bake and cook alongside my grandmother and my mother and I have such treasured memories of my childhood. My grandmother went to be with the Lord almost 30 years ago I was so grateful to have had her for 18 years. My mother is still living and I try to make as many memories with her as possible. This year alone our family has lost 7 friends and family. I am grateful for my Faith in Our heavenly father that we will see them all again someday. Food does give us comfort in those times of need and it also gives us joy to share with others. Thank you for your Wonderful Blogs I really enjoy reading about your lives and feel like I know you already even though we never have met. My prayers go out to you and your family and always remember and treasure those precious memories of your beautiful Mom…

  60. I have shared your recipes with many family and friends over the last several months. We have used your recipes during happy times and used your recipes during some sad ones as well. Just this year alone my family has lost 7 family and friends. I too grew up cooking and baking alongside my mother and my grandmother. I have many treasured memories of my grandmother , she went to be with our Lord almost 30 years ago and I was so grateful to have had her in my life for 18 years. I try to make as many memories with my beautiful Mom as well. My sister passed away 5 years ago from colon cancer at the age of 45. Food comforts us it binds us with others it needs know explanation and it shows how much we Love each other. I enjoy your blog so much and look forward to reading about your life. I feel connected to you even though we have never met. My prayers are with you and your family. Treasure those beautiful memories of your Mom and pass those recipes on to others her spirit lives on in you… God Bless !

  61. HI Sara, we have been enjoying your recipes for a long time and they TRULY have made a difference in our lives. Food is a great part of Family and Friendship and it is so amazing that you share your families traditions with all of us. I am so sorry about your loss and appreciate you allowing us into your life; the joys and the struggles. Your mothers smile looks infectious, I am sure she will be greatly missed. I do know though that GOD IS GOOD, ALL THE TIME, and your mom is in HIS GLORY FOREVER! Praying for you and your family in all your endeavors!

  62. I just bawled through this entire post. Thank you so much for sharing. I have to tell you that your blog has hugely impacted my cooking and traditions in my home. When I first got married, I would look up recipes on blogs to try and always came back to OBB and they would be a huge hit every single time. I’ve won a few ward cookoffs with your soup recipes, I’ve made it through every recipe in your first book and almost in your second and third, we’ve can’t have Thanksgiving without the sausage stuffing, it’s not a birthday without chunky monkey pancakes, and our Friday Movie Night pizzas have your amazing pizza sauce every week. I am grateful for your mom and her impact on you and on me, for making something that is so essential to life become a center for learning, traditions, and love. Thank you for everything you and Kate do for this blog, and for lives (like mine) that it touches!

  63. I am so sorry about your mom. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings regarding her, and her influence in your life, and ours. My mom passed away earlier this year, so I can relate to your feelings, and to the knowledge that you have that you will be together again. You and your family are in my prayers. I look forward to that pot roast recipe…I can practically smell it now. I will think of you and your mom when I make it. Take care.

  64. This is just so.. sad.
    I lost my mum few months back and it hurts. deeply. May she rest in peace. God bless you and your family!

  65. Please know you are in my prayers, and you and mother will be reunited on heaven’s shore. In Christ’s love, Allen.

  66. I’ve never met you or your mom, but both of you have touched my life through the food that has graced our dining room table. Sending prayers and thanks your way .

  67. I am so sorry for your loss. This is a beautiful post! I am bawling reading it. It makes me think of right after my mom passed away and we came home from the hospital and 2 of her closest friends were waiting for us with a hug and a pan of lasagna. So thankful for the love of God and good friends at those times. You and Kate are both such kind and beautiful women, obvious from your blog. Hugs to you! Hope you have a wonderful day!

  68. Your words of love for your mother are an inspiring and uplifting tribute to her. I know she is looking on and beaming with gratitude and love. Thank you for sharing the words which have brought you comfort and strength in this time that is so agonizingly painful. Your strength is a further tribute to your mother and an example for your readers. Thank you for all that you do to share the message of family, faith, and -of course- delicious food! May your family be strengthened by the comfort of the Holy Ghost and may you continue in hope and faith!
    [John 14:18,27]

  69. So sorry for your loss.

    Do not stand at my grave and weep.I am not there; I do not sleep.I am a thousand winds that blow.I am the diamond glints on snow.I am the sunlight on ripened grain.I am the gentle autumn rain.When you awaken in the morning’s hushI am the swift uplifting rushOf quiet birds in circled flight.I am the soft stars that shine at night.Do not stand at my grave and cry;I am not there; I did not die.[2]

  70. What a beautiful tribute to your mother. Her pictures are just lovely. What a joy to be raised by such a woman! Thank you for sharing your testimony! And I wish I could bring you a freezer meal too. 🙂 Prayers for you and yours!

  71. I am so sorry for your loss, but your words are beautiful and gave me goosebumps. How wonderful a relationship you had with your mother. That is such a treasure!

  72. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your mom. Your post was beautiful and reminded me of my mother and all the many hour she spent cooking and baking for our family. May God’s blessing be with you.

  73. Sitting in my doctor’s office crying. I didn’t quite realize what I was in for with this post but I couldn’t put it down. First, I’m sorry for your very deep loss. Second, thank you for sharing something so intimate. It has reminded me how important my role as a mother is and that something beautiful is happening in what sometimes feels like a daily drudgery. Sending love and hope that your heartache will ease.

  74. What a beautiful post. Thanks so much for sharing your heart with us. I’ll be praying for you and your whole family. I hope that I can pass on that type of legacy to my children.

  75. This was beautifully written, Sara. I am so so very sorry for the loss of your sweet mother. She looks like such an amazing and lovely person! And I can hear how much you admired her in the way you wrote this post. I totally get the whole ‘comfort’ food thing during a loss or during a painful experience. There is something very comforting in the special foods we grew up with. They’re nostalgic and they do bring comfort. I will keep your family in my prayers! God bless you.

  76. Just wanted to send my condolences as a reader who enjoys your posts and the food you share. It is evident that you love and honor your mother, and your work here is a tribute to what she shared with you.

  77. I love how your heart comes through your writing. Your mom sounds like an amazing person I would have liked to know. Long distance (and supportive, non-creepy) hugs from Hillsboro:)

  78. Thank you for so openly sharing this experience. Your testimony helped to strengthen mine. Aren’t traditions and familiar foods a blessing and a comfort in the times we want to feel our loved ones closer to us? I will be praying for you and your family.

  79. I rarely comment but I had tears flowing from beginning to end. What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful mother. I know what you mean about the death of a loved one being sacred and personal. I held my dad as he died and it was the most moving moment of my life and a privilege that’s too complicated to share.

    After my mother died all I wanted to do was roast a chicken so my house would smell like hers. Be kind to yourself, this isn’t easy.

    I’m hungry for a good chuck roast now.

  80. Wish I could give you a big hug. Thank you for sharing something so personal. Your faith builds up my faith, even though our challenges are different. Thank you for that. I also wanted to thank you for the pictures you posted of your mother – in all of the pictures it is evident that she adored her children and sincerely loved being a mother. It reminded me that above all else I may teach my children I want them to really know and feel that I love them, their dad, and the Lord.

  81. Sara, I love that photo of your mom’s post-its on every page of your first cookbook. I know she’ll continue to be your champion, but in new ways now. Her legacy certainly lives on in you and your siblings. Sending love to your family.

  82. So sorry for your loss. I know about the happy sad tears that you are experiencing. We are so blessed to know of a greater plan. What hope, peace and comfort that knowledge gives.
    My grandmother passed away last week. She is the one that taught me what an important role food plays in loving and serving people well. How blessed to have had these angels in our lives on earth and now watching over us from heaven!

  83. What a beautiful tribute to your mother. My heart is with you & your family as you’re adjusting to your “new normal”. May God bless, comfort & heal you

  84. Thank you so much for this post! I am so sorry for your recent loss. I felt so connected to you and your Mom as I read it. My Mom passed away a few years ago (she also suffered from a long-term illness) and I felt very similar emotions that you have described. After my mom passed, I wanted to make every single recipe that she had ever made for me. It somehow made me feel more connected to her, knowing that I was going through the exact same motions that she had gone through while on Earth. I, like you, missed my Mom terribly but was happy that she wasn’t suffering any longer. I was also comforted by the fact (like you mentioned) that she could now really see me and hopefully be proud of me and who I had become. Your Mother will continue to live on through you!

  85. This is a lovely tribute. I hope that you will find comfort in remembering the wonderful life that you shared. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  86. The power of Mom. 🙂 Family makes people. Thank you for sharing because in the daily toll of motherhood it is easy to loose the big picture. I’m sorry for your loss; you are in my prayers.

  87. This is absolutely beautiful, thank you! My grandmother just recently passed away and this post made me realize how many things are passed down from generation to generation, mother to daughter etc. The comfort in a roast, or in my case homemade chocolate pudding. Thank you for your beautiful words. I’m sorry for your loss.

  88. I am so sorry for the loss of your momma. My momma died 15 months ago.. only 57 years old. She struggled the last years of her life and though it was very hard to say goodbye, I know she is no longer in pain and rejoicing with her Savior. Selfishly I wish I had her here… I miss her with every beat of my heart… but I know I will see her again. Praying for you and your family these next days, weeks, and months.

  89. Your memories of your mom brought back so many of mine. While I wasn’t as close with mine as you were with yours. I know the deepest of feelings you’ve been through. It was my daddy that taught me to cook. He was home earlier than mother and felt that if she had to earn the living then he had to share all of the house & cooking chores too. You’re right food is love.
    Our joy is that we do get to see our loved ones again. Whether it’s our Mom, Dad, or Mama (my maternal grandmother that taught all of us the importance of showing our love with food), we know that soon there will be many great family reunions in heaven. I love your site and your recipes and wish you a blessed day.
    Margo

  90. My sincerest condolences in the loss of your mother. I don’t know that anything can truly prepare you for someone’s passing.

    I have struggled since I unexpectedly lost my Mom on February 19th and then my best friend of 27 years lost her couragous battle with breast cancer on her 49th birthday, just a few months later.

    You were fortunate that you were able to be with your beloved Mother and to say goodbye.

    Thank you for sharing your experience and the beautiful quote Very touching.

  91. You are beautiful! I have never commented or even thanked you yet I am one of your biggest fans. I share your recipes with everyone I know, because I too am a woman who communicates with food. Thank you for being bold enough to share food, love and God all at the same time. You are simply beautiful. Thank you!

  92. Thank you for sharing this post. My deepest sympathies for you and your family. Thank you for your work and your faith. May God bless you!

  93. That was beautiful. Thank you for sharing your sweet memories and your heart with all of us, as well as your moms recipes. I have learned in recent months that the veil is so thin and close. May you and your family find peace, strength,comfort and love from our Savior and Father in Heaven.

  94. This post is beautiful. My dad passed away a month and a half ago, its difficult. Thanks for sharing.

  95. Hi Sara! I, too, have followed your blog for years. You gals are in my kitchen as much as I am 🙂 We have become great friends, you just don’t know it. I have been thinking about you as I went to find a recipe for our Sunday dinner and wondered if you had posted what happened yet. This is such a beautiful story and you wrote it well. I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine. Sounds like you are doing well and have found comfort and peace with everything. Thanks for being real and such an example, and a great friend 😉

  96. Sara,

    I didn’t take the time to read this post when you sent it. I just sat down and read it, it brought tears to my eyes! I too am striving to be a better mother and nurturer for my four wonderful children. I have been blessed to have many role models in my life that teach me the traits I hope to develop. Thank you for sharing your mother with us through her recipes and your tender experience of her passing. I love the quote by President Faust. I am going to share it with my father in law who has been bravely fighting lung cancer for the past three years. I’m off to cook pumpkin bread with my kids.

  97. I feel the pain of the loss of your mother, and I know that you will be able to get through this period of your life with the wonderful memories you have made.

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