maman

My mom died just over a week ago, on Thursday January 21st. I think it was around 7:40 pm in the evening. I was there sitting beside her hospital bed holding her left hand with mine and rubbing her head with my right hand. Her breathing was getting irregular and I wanted my brother and dad to hurry the hell up and get to the hospital, but mostly I was concentrating on my mom. Her breath. Her hands. How hot her head felt beneath the short bristles of her hair. Under her blankets, I tried to ignore how purple her skin had turned and how cold it was to touch. So I stroked her head and talked or just watched her mouth until she just stopped breathing. I held my breath thinking it would start up again like it had been going for the past few minutes. Stop and start. Stop and start. Stop. I remember locking eyes with my husband who was also in the room with me, rubbing my back. And then I started crying deep sobs. My mom, who had battled an intense two and a half year long journey with an aggressive brain tumor, was finally free. Her last breath was gentle and it was over. No more suffering. No more frustration because she had lost the ability to communicate with words. Peace, finally.

Two and a half years ago. That’s when it all began, this bolt out of the blue. A brain tumour. Cancer. Why my mom? My maman was strong, she was friendly, she was devout. She was also 12 years younger than my dad – she shouldn’t have to face death this early in life. She still had so much living to do. It just seemed all so wrong. One day she woke up and couldn’t move her arm. The doctors didn’t know what was wrong, but an MRI revealed a brain tumor. Cancer sixty years in the making caused by some ill-conceived radiation treatments my mom received to remove ringworm on her scalp when she was just six years old. The tumor was large and aggressive and the doctors had said that my mom had only months to live. It paralyzed the right half of her body and she lost most of her ability to talk. And my mom loved to talk and laugh and she could do so in both English and French. When I’d phone her hospital room, some days she was full of pep and wellness and the conversation flowed well. Often she’d lapse into French, her mother-tongue, and I’d try to follow along as best I could. Near the end, however, talking on the phone to her was difficult. Most times she couldn’t even murmur or sob, there was just silence on the other end of the line. It was a hard illness and my mom was brave. She was never afraid of dying.

There is such a strong connection between me and my mom. We have that same gap between our teeth and our eyes are big and we both laugh and smile a lot. During the funeral, people told me how much we looked alike. My mom taught me to cook and to love cooking. She taught me to be independent and do what I love. My mom was a worrier (aren’t most moms?) yet she loved my sense of adventure and encouraged my creativity. The happy, joyous memories I have of her when I was a kid, of us at the cottage, of her baking tourtiere at Christmas because it was my favorite, already have the curled corners of time passing.

Right now, the images I have of my mom are of her illness. My mom having trouble walking. My mom being so small and frail. My mom getting frustrated because the words wouldn’t come. But while she struggled – and she struggled hard, she still was at the same time, the very same person who loved to sing, who still worried about everyone else, the one who smiled brightly.

But there is joy in this story. Three days after I arrived in my hometown, my mother became a grandmother. My brother (the baby in my mom’s arms in the photo above) and his lovely wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Initially, I was worried about the timing of things, but it turned out to be the best gift ever. My mom smiled when she met her granddaughter and I believe it was what she was waiting for. Now, she could die knowing that we’d all be alright. There’s a new part of the family now to love and to hold and to take care of. It’s funny how things work sometimes.

I’m back home in Vancouver again with my work and my husband and the familiar walls of our apartment, yet I feel off. Unbalanced. Something is amiss and it’s not something tangible that I can shake off just yet. My mom is gone. She’s not in pain, she isn’t struggling, she isn’t just a phone call away. She is gone and I feel empty. I don’t miss her yet. It just feels too raw. Instead I feel like I’m drifting and bobbing along in a fog.

This isn’t an easy post to write. Part of me wants to keep quiet and bundle up my stories and my family and keep things private. But mostly I want to talk, write and explain. People tend to shy away from death, from asking questions and I want to shake my friends and tell them that it’s good to talk. I need to get things off my chest and I need to feel that sense of community and togetherness. So there’s no recipe. No pictures of food. It will come. I just need a bit of time. Time to shake off the fog or maybe just to dwell in it for just a while longer.

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280 comments to “maman”

  1. 1
    KnittingReader   January 31, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    I'm so deeply sorry for your loss. My father-in-law died a similar death; he too waited until the birth of his first grandchild.

  2. 2
    maija   January 31, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    Oh, I am so sorry. I had a feeling when I hadn't seen a new post by you that this might be why. I am glad you got the chance to be with your family and perhaps even be a little prepared for this.

    This was lovely to read though sad. And congrats on the new baby in your family, what a sweet moment. I lost a good friend & my grandma right before Christmas, it made the holidays hard for sure as it just didn't feel the same. Take care.

  3. 3
    Eireann   January 31, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    I'm so deeply sorry for your loss.

  4. 4
    Naomi Rose   January 31, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    I just cried two little tears, one for you and one for your maman maybe. I'm so sorry for your loss my lovely xxx

  5. 5
    Moni   January 31, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Moms are a beautiful gift and precious commodity. May she continue to be with you smiling and happy every time you cook and kiss your children. Thank you for sharing a little bit of her with us.

  6. 6
    pia   January 31, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Ohhh… I am so sorry for your loss… I lost my Mom in a similar fashion nearly 14 years ago and while it never gets easier, you simply learn to cope with the loss.

  7. 7
    Adrienne   January 31, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    I am so, so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this with us, and know that you and your family are in our thoughts.

  8. 8
    Laura.   January 31, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    oh, there are no words. i'm so sorry for your loss. i have no idea what i would do without my own mother. thanks for sharing so openly.

  9. 9
    Miranda   January 31, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing with all of us – hugs to you

  10. 10
    shutterbean   January 31, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Oh J! I wish I could give you a big hug. I am sorry for your loss…

    but your words! oh your words….they would make any mother proud to have had you has a daughter.

    my thoughts to you and your family.

    xoxoxo

  11. 11
    gwen   January 31, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    I am so, so sorry. Thank you for sharing this with us – lots of people who have never met you or your mother will be keeping both of you in our thoughts.

  12. 12
    me   January 31, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    So sorry. I lost my mother too. Remember she is still watching over you. I have felt her presence often since she died. Peace to you.

  13. 13
    Megan   January 31, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    I am so very sorry for your loss. My dad passed away from brain cancer 6 years ago, and for the longest time, all I could think of was my mom and I holding hands while we listened to my dad take his final breaths. Someday, you'll forget the illness and the suffering of your mother. I promise. Until then, try to think of the good stuff :)

  14. 14
    Brigitte   January 31, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    So very sorry to hear of your loss.
    You wrote this post with so much strength – we can only imagine how difficult it was.
    Take all the time you need, knowing that we are all keeping you in our thoughts.

  15. 15
    coriander   January 31, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    I am so, so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this beautiful reflective essay, though; it helps me to see that the experience of loss truly is universal and that none of us are alone in our grief. Best wishes.

  16. 16
    Erica   January 31, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    I'm so sorry for your loss. There are many comforts to be discovered, though, in time.

    Your memories of your maman, the ones you thought you'd long forgotten, will be sparked by the tiniest things. A song, a look, a scent, and you'll find so many sweet times that were locked inside your brain are yours again, this time to hold onto forever.

    Food is comfort. There will be recipes that bring you back to your childhood, and foods that make you feel less lonesome and fill up some of the aching spots in your heart.

    It sounds like your mother was a wonderful woman who inspired the confidence and depth of spirit in you that will get you through this.

  17. 17
    Meeks   January 31, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Bless you and your family – this was a beautifully written tribute to your maman. I hope you find peace soon.

  18. 18
    lesley [smidgebox]   January 31, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    what a beautifully written post, full of love and emotion. jeanette, i am so sorry for your loss. i hope that you find what you need to come through the fog, and know that your memories of your mom will be with you always.

  19. 19
    Abi   January 31, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    That was a beautifully written post, so full of tenderness and love. Your maman would have been proud.

  20. 20
    Jessie Mae   January 31, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    I'm so sorry.

  21. 21
    Cory   January 31, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to your Maman. I'm both sorry for your loss, and happy for the new baby in your family. Best wishes for peace and comfort.

  22. 22
    Anonymous   January 31, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Terribly sorry for your loss.
    I don't know you or your mom, but can't help but think she must have been so proud for all of the loveliness you bring to strangers and friends all over the world.

  23. 23
    Kris   January 31, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    I'm so sorry, Jeanette. Take all the time in the world, and we'll be here when you get back.

  24. 24
    Rosiecat   January 31, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Oh sweet kickpleat, I'm so sorry for your loss. It's very brave of you to share something so sad and deep with us. Words never seem like enough when the grief and sadness is so big that it could swallow us whole. Please take your time, take care of yourself, and know that I am thinking of you.

    xo Rose-Anne

  25. 25
    Alison   January 31, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    I'm so very sorry for your loss. Your words of love and memory about your mother were touching and I am grateful that you shared them with us. Kind thoughts to you and your family.

  26. 26
    gemma   January 31, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    I'm so sorry Jeanette. That was a beautiful and heartbreaking post to read. Take careful care.

  27. 27
    deborah   January 31, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    my heart of heart thoughts to you in remembering your mother as you should.

  28. 28
    Megsie   January 31, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    I am so sorry about the loss of your mother. I hope the fond memories fill the loss you are feeling.

  29. 29
    rebecca   January 31, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    So sorry for your loss. Before I read the post I immediately thought how much you look like your mom. Same impish eyes and smile.

  30. 30
    Nancy   January 31, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my mother to a very aggressive brain tumor 23 years ago. Three weeks later I met my future husband. I think our mothers will always be there for us until we are able to be with them again. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  31. 31
    Kaila Leigh   January 31, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    This is a beautiful story, and am truly sorry for your loss. Your mother sounded and looked like an amazing woman who molded you into the person you are today. And ofcourse, congratulations on being a brand new auntie. It is certain that your mother lives on in her.

  32. 32
    Bijoux   January 31, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Oh, dear…Jeannette. I can't fight back the tears any longer. I'm very sad right now. I read your very touching post several times before I could actually begin to type. I could not see my monitor.

    Take your time to heal and reflect on the things that make you happy, like a new niece to adore.

    Your mom will always be with you. Every time you look in the mirror you will see parts of her looking back at you. She will always be a part of you.

    I loved the photos you posted. And your mod outfit and haircut made me smile.

    My thoughts are with you, dear friend!

  33. 33
    thedelishdish   January 31, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    i am so deeply sorry for your loss but you are absolutely right that death is a part of life and it is much healthier to talk about it when you need to. thank you for sharing your story and take care.

  34. 34
    Beth   January 31, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Thank you for sharing.

  35. 35
    Roselie   January 31, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    I 'm so deeply sorry for your loss…

  36. 36
    Margot   January 31, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    You are such a wonderful writer. Sending peace, strength, and healing.

    Hugs!

  37. 37
    Rina the Mama Bear   January 31, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    I have been worried about you, and now I understand why.

    My heart breaks for you and your family, and I hope and pray that peace will find you.

    I am so sorry for the loss of your Mom.

  38. 38
    Dawn   January 31, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    i am so so so very sorry darling. i don't even know how that must feel, but from your writing you have a deep love for her. you are so very lucky to have had a wonderful relationship with her.
    and this was just so perfectly written….
    if you need anything, i'm here

  39. 39
    Elizabeth B   January 31, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    I'm so very sorry for your loss. My deepest condolences to you and your family. It sounds like you have a lifetime of wonderful memories to draw comfort from. I hope they bring you healing.

  40. 40
    Laura   January 31, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    my heart goes out to you. let the grief roll through and more joy will follow. true life is not about the death and losses, although they are acute. live and love fully, just as your beautiful mother taught you!

  41. 41
    The Nervous Cook   January 31, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    This is a beautiful tribute to your mother. Your love for her is so obvious, and I'm terribly sorry for your loss.

  42. 42
    tami   January 31, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    i just read your post with tears in my eyes. i lost my mom suddenly a little over 3 years ago. i never know which is worse….not having the chance to say all the things you want to say…or seeing the process drag out.

    regardless, i know your pain and your loss. i lived my grief openly on my blog and the support you'll receive from friends and readers – people you've never met before – will soothe and support you.

    the food will come back. this is your time to heal and grieve. all of us – all the readers of your blog – will await your healing and your return.

    take care. my thoughts are with you.

    - tami

  43. 43
    Olga @ Healthing It   January 31, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    This is such a beautiful and touching post, thank you for sharing.

  44. 44
    Anonymous   January 31, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    A beautiful tribute… In the photos, her personality really shines through with her expression and those eyes. Thanks for writing.

  45. 45
    Kalyn   January 31, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to your mom. I'm so glad you decided to share a little bit about her with us. My own mother died in 1998, so I understand at least some of how you are feeeling. During the times when you're dealing with those inevitable feelings of loss, I hope you can also think of the lovely memories you have of your mom.

  46. 46
    miranda   January 31, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    my heart goes out to you and yours. thank you for sharing words and memories of your mom, both of her struggle and of her life. folks keep on in spirit through storytelling and remembering and i know she'll live in your heart for always.

  47. 47
    m.e (Cathie)   January 31, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    hugs to you, and your family.
    thank you for sharing your personal grief with us and I know from personal experience it hurts but helps aswell.
    I know you say you don't miss her now because all you can think about is the illness, but there will come a time when you remember the good times & will miss her deeply.
    I go through it now, several months after losing my dad to cancer & I sit here in tears feeling your pain & wishing you strength.

  48. 48
    Madame   January 31, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    thanks for being so brave and sharing something so deeply personal. i hope that you feel at least a tiny bit better after writing about it. i'm sending you lots of hugs.

  49. 49
    Maurene   January 31, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    so sorry for your loss. i've read your blog for a couple years and this is my first comment. your blog has brought so many people good eats and happiness. my thoughts are with you and may your lovely mother rest in peace.

  50. 50
    AlwaysJoy   January 31, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Oh hugs! You are in my thoughts and prayers! Although you don't know me I am only an email away and I too lost my Mom to brain cancer (a glioblastoma multiforme) though I lost her 2 years ago Thursday! Talking is the best thing to do – it helps!

  51. 51
    Lissy   January 31, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss….loosing a parent is so hard…

  52. 52
    Sarah   January 31, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    I'm so sorry about the loss of your mom. She's beautiful. May comfort surround you & your family.

  53. 53
    nancy   January 31, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    I'm so sorry. Your post here was beautifully written, and I admire your braveness and strength in writing it and sharing it with friends and strangers alike. May the happy memories of your mom keep you going during these difficult days. Take care.

  54. 54
    Elaine   January 31, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    So sorry for your loss. Thanks for writing about it. I think it can definitely help to share experiences.

  55. 55
    Pip   January 31, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    I reread the previous post just today and thought..it's been a long time, something terrible must have happened and said a quick prayer for you.
    I am so sorry for your loss, I can feel your ache from your words.
    I cannot imagine being without my Mom and I am so glad you were with her as she passed I am sure you helped her feel at peace.
    I will say more prayer sand send more thoughts for you and your family.
    I lost my Grama almost a year ago, she was my 2nd Mom and I remember being ready to make a deal with the devil just to have her back. I still feel the ache, but it's not as constant.

  56. 56
    Stefanie   January 31, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Hi Jeannette, I'm so sorry for your loss, and am wishing you well especially in the next little while.

  57. 57
    bellcurves   January 31, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    I'm so deeply sorry for your loss. I am also moved to tears by your beautifully written, heartfelt post, and the photos you shared. Congratulations on becoming an aunt. Take your time. We're here. Sending warm hugs and love and peace to comfort you in the days ahead.

  58. 58
    Redneck Mommy   January 31, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    My sincere condolences. I haven't lost my mother so I can't imagine your pain, but I know the grief from losing my son and it was hard.

    May you find peace in the love you have for your mother.

  59. 59
    carol   January 31, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    that was very touching. thank you for sharing. i have always enjoyed reading your blog. the food you make is unique. i'm sure your mom was just as unique. God is always present among us even if it's tough to see his face.

  60. 60
    Aimée   January 31, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    Jeanette, thank you for sharing your loss with us. My deepest condolences to you and your entire family.

    Take all the time you need; we'll be here when you pick up the piece, or start afresh, whatever you need to do.

  61. 61
    Karine   January 31, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    This is such a touching post. Your maman seemed to be an amazing woman. I am very sorry for you and your family.

    I also want congrats on the new baby in your family.

  62. 62
    carmen   January 31, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    I'm so sorry. I can't imagine the pain. My own beloved mother had a stroke a few years ago and almost did not survive. I was a wreck, and even now, can't imagine ever losing her. My thoughts are with you.

  63. 63
    Jen   January 31, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful tribute to your mother. Take care.

  64. 64
    Geri   January 31, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    I am so deeply sorry for your loss. Thank you for your openess. I will make a point to visit my own mom this week, hug her and cherish the remaining time.

  65. 65
    Amanda   January 31, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    I can't even imagine what you are going through. I hope you are able to rest and lean on those who love you through this terrible time. Best wishes

    xoxo Amanda

  66. 66
    Candice   January 31, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    I am so, so sorry for your loss.

  67. 67
    Diana's Cocina   January 31, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    I'm so very sorry. You are lucky to have had a wonderful and loving relationship with her. The photos are such an awesome touch. This is perfectly written, she would be so proud.

  68. 68
    tigerhunting   January 31, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Thinking of you.

  69. 69
    rc yes ke   January 31, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    jeannette

    im touched by the courage and openness of this post at a time when you must be feeling such a loss.

    my thoughts are with you,
    love ryan

  70. 70
    Tiberia   January 31, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Jeanette, that was a lovely post. Trust me (yeah, I know, a total stranger!) when I say it will get easier over time. I look forward to hearing more about your maman…

  71. 71
    Jenerationx   January 31, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    I'm so sorry.

  72. 72
    radish   January 31, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. So very deeply sorry. I lost my grandfather to brain tumor as well and I remember it too well. Your mother sounds like an amazing woman who left quite a legacy behind. It is nice to see life continuing with your niece. I'm sending a hug across the blogosphere. It took a lot of strength to write a post this beautiful and thoughtful. I hope that you're hanging in there.

  73. 73
    jen kim   January 31, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    I'm very sorry for your loss. Your memories and love for her are evident in these beautiful words you've shared.
    xo

  74. 74
    Serena Marie   January 31, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Aw, Jeannette. What a beautiful and loving post. My condolences to you and your family.

  75. 75
    Julie   January 31, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    I'm so sad for you and your family. What a hard thing to go through. Thanks for sharing memories of your maman with us – you're right that writing and talking about it will help get you through.

  76. 76
    Mary   January 31, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    Words are inadequate but I am so very sorry. I just lost my dad to cancer a month ago and am still struggling to process that. But as I've found, we are never alone in these things.

  77. 77
    Maggie   January 31, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    I'm so, so sorry. My thoughts are with you and your family. What a wonderful thing to have a new baby in the family—the full circle of life.

  78. 78
    alisa   January 31, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    my sincerest condolences and best wishes to you and your family and you work through such difficult times. It is obvious by your writing how much love and respect you held for your mother, and I'm thankful for you ability to share that with us. Thank god for the healing and story sharing ability of food, and I hope you may find joy sharing this love your mom taught you to your nephews, nieces, and maybe eventually, your own children.

  79. 79
    liz r.   January 31, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    You have my most sincere sympathy. What lovely photos of and words about your mom. I'm so glad you decided to share them with us.

  80. 80
    Jen   January 31, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    What a beautiful post…your mom must have been so proud to have such a loving and eloquent daughter.

  81. 81
    Heather   January 31, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    I am deeply sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your feelings with us through such a beautiful post.
    You give so much pleasure to your readers by sharing your talent and love of cooking; this must have brought a great deal of pride to your mom. Take care.

  82. 82
    Nakiya @ Taste of Baltimore   January 31, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    I'm so incredibly sorry for your loss.

  83. 83
    L.   January 31, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    J, you broke my heart with your kind, sweet words and memories. You broke my heart, but I cannot begin to imagine how hurt your own is. Take care of yourself, let people take care of you and let love buffer all that other, awful sad stuff that is being flung at you.

    If there is anything I can do, as random as that is, let me know.

  84. 84
    so good and tasty   January 31, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    My sincerest condolences to you and your family for your loss. Your mom sounds like she was a lovely person and mother, and you must have made her very proud.

    Congrats on the new addition to your family. I can only image all the feelings going through your head, take care.

  85. 85
    jacqui   January 31, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    My sincerest condolences to you and your family for your loss. Your mom sounds like she was a lovely person and mother, and you must have made her very proud.

    Congrats on the new addition to your family. I can only image all the feelings going through your head, take care.

  86. 86
    Jennie   January 31, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    I was dreading this post kickpleat! So sorry to hear about your family's ordeal. Very relieved to hear that your mom wasn't afraid of dying. Wish we all could be so at peace with that notion. Excellent that she met her grandkid, and excellent you were holding her hand when she chose to go. Thank you for sharing and being so candid.

  87. 87
    Erin C.   January 31, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    I'm sorry for your loss. At least she had you in her final hour and, as you say, she is at peace now, not suffering. That is what I told myself after my mother died of a lung disease.

    To say that losing one's mother is big is an understatement- take all the time you need, relish the memories. We'll still be here.

  88. 88
    onenicething   January 31, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Sending love and light.

  89. 89
    Jules   January 31, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    {hugs}

  90. 90
    nicole   January 31, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    thank you so much for sharing. heartfelt condolences to you and yours, as the fog dissipates.

  91. 91
    Peggasus   January 31, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    I am so sorry, and I sympathize with you on the loss of your dear mother. My dad died eight years ago Friday, and my mother, youngest brother and I were all there when it happened. There is a kind of blessing in being there at the end, I have since found, and it is fine to dwell in that spot for as long as you need to. I still miss him everyday, but it does get better, I promise. xo

  92. 92
    falnfenix   January 31, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    i lost my grandfather suddenly this past December, and his loss is still very fresh in my mind and heart. YES, talk about it. YES, cry it out. do whatever you need to get through this. we'll be here to read your words whenever – and whatever – you need to let them out.

  93. 93
    T and R   January 31, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    I'm so sorry for your loss, and think this post is a lovely tribute to your maman. May she rest in peace.

  94. 94
    Elfin Goddess   January 31, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    I'm sorry for your loss. Your post is so beautiful! I couldnt stop from tearing up. Your mom was blessed to have such a loving, kind daughter as you. Love & blessings, Avril

  95. 95
    Shelley (Pink House)   January 31, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    So sorry. What a nice post though.

  96. 96
    tws   January 31, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    Oh my goodness. So, so sorry. How can reality change so suddenly? So stunning, and so hard. I don't even know her (or you, except by your blog) but I feel like I've been punched in the stomach.

    I always notice how people grieve and remember the people they love. I grew up with a pretty cruel mother, and I'm always so so glad to hear that there are people in the world who have mothers that they will mourn. So, in a weird way I hope that's encouraging. As hard as it must be (I cannot imagine), part of the pain and emptiness now is because there was such life and fullness then – a life and fullness which this post tells us was precious.

  97. 97
    Staci   January 31, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    Your post is a lovely tribute to your mother. Thank you so very much for sharing it with us. My father died three weeks before my first child was born, and it is painful that he did not get to meet his grandchild. Thanks again.

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    rawbean   January 31, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    This is a very touching post, beautifully written. Thank you for sharing with blogger world.

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    Anonymous   January 31, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    My condolences.

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    tara   January 31, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    My deepest condolences to you and your family during this difficult time. This is a beautiful tribute to your Mother and thank you for letting us know her a little bit.

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    Jen   January 31, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    I only know you through your writing here on this blog and through your art on etsy, but I am so deeply sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. Please feel comfortable sharing with us readers whatever stories you want to. In our own, weird cyberspace way, we're here for you.

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    emvandee   February 1, 2010 at 12:36 am

    I am thinking all my best thoughts for you right now. Sorry for your loss, and I hope that you have warm hugs to fall into and all the time you need.

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    kim at allconsuming   February 1, 2010 at 12:38 am

    You take as long as you want and need.

    Write was comes, keep what doesn't.

    We will all be here, holding you in our hearts.

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    Chris   February 1, 2010 at 12:38 am

    I'm so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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    librarianista   January 31, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    I'm so sorry. You'll be in my thoughts. Your mom couldn't have asked for a better remembrance.

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    Kitchen Masochist   February 1, 2010 at 1:14 am

    I'm sorry for your loss. I can't even fathom what it would be like to lose my parents or any family member. Please accept my sincerest condolences to you and your family.

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    Sara   January 31, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    there are no words that will make it better, but you'll make it through. thank you for sharing…we'll be here when you're ready.

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    Bertha   January 31, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Your mom sounds truly amazing. I am so sorry she is gone.

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    Amy   January 31, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    I go to bed with a very heavy heart tonight. My deepest, deepest sympathy to you and your family over this tremendous loss and during this difficult time.

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    Adela   January 31, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    My deepest condolences. I know the fog you are feeling, just a few days before Christmas my father passed away. Thank you for your thoughts and honesty.

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    Debbie Carlos   January 31, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    I'm so sorry for your loss. You've written such a beautiful story. I hope you're ok.

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    Cannelle Et Vanille   February 1, 2010 at 2:47 am

    I'm so sorry for your loss Jeannette. I loves how you said she now free. I was also pregnant when my grandmother passed away and I see part of her in my daughter now. I'm sure it the same with your niece. She will carry part of her grandmother. Big hugs.xxoo

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    j'taimee   February 1, 2010 at 3:09 am

    O Son of Spirit! With the joyful tidings of light I hail thee: rejoice! To the court of holiness I summon thee; abide therein that thou mayest live in peace for evermore. – Baha'u'llah.
    May your family and your heart have peace and love.

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    Joanne   February 1, 2010 at 3:15 am

    I'm so sorry to read this sweetie. My thoughts will be with you and your family during this time. Losing a loved one is always hard, but I just can't imagine losing my mother. At least now you have a new member of the family to raise your spirits during this time.

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    xine   January 31, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    i'm so sorry.

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    hilary   January 31, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    Thank you for the beautiful post, Jeanette.

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    Christina   January 31, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    Thank you for sharing such a lovely post. I'm so sorry for your loss. Your family will be in my prayers.

    Congrats on your new niece.

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    Carrie   February 1, 2010 at 5:34 am

    Oh, Jeanette. I am so, so sorry for your loss. I completely sympathize, as my husband just lost his mother (age 59) last month after a debilitating eight-year battle with bone cancer. We're also expecting a baby in May, and we were so saddened that she'll never get to meet her grandchild. In fact, she passed away one week before the ultrasound where we found out we were having a boy (which is just what she predicted!). Your post today was such a lovely tribute to your mother. Take all the time you need, and be sure to take care of yourself.

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    Johanna   February 1, 2010 at 5:52 am

    I'm so sorry. Thank you for sharing these beautiful words about your mother. I'll keep your family in my thoughts. Take care, xo

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    tsteele999   February 1, 2010 at 5:56 am

    So sorry for your loss and it is good that you have so many great memories of your Mom and you will always have those. Tom.

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    Nupur   February 1, 2010 at 5:58 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. Your words beautifully capture the bond between a loving mother and daughter.

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    sk   February 1, 2010 at 6:00 am

    my heart goes out to you! thank you for being brave and sharing your story.

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    SpiritualNurse   January 31, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    God Bless You. I believe your maman will still be around in spirit when you're in your kitchen, cooking :)

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    Maven   February 1, 2010 at 6:32 am

    Lots of love to you, J. You're an awesome daughter.

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    Gini   February 1, 2010 at 6:50 am

    Thank you for sharing this. I think it is wonderful that you and your mom were so close– in that, you have given her the best and most cherished gift. You said yourself you are so alike; I'm sure you will find her love manifesting in you even more. Take care of yourself. It will get better.

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    Anne Living Life   February 1, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Thank you for sharing. Wishing you peace during this time.

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    radhi   February 1, 2010 at 7:30 am

    hoping you linger in or leave the fog whenever you're ready. wishing you peace. thanks so much for sharing.

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    April   February 1, 2010 at 7:42 am

    What an incredibly loving, considerate post this is. Sorry to hear of your loss. The painful memories do get replaced again by the more happier ones that you shared. It takes time. Blessings to you!

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    The Monday Through Friday Gourmet   February 1, 2010 at 7:45 am

    I'm so sorry for your loss…my heart goes out to you. The words about your Mother were truly beautiful…take care

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    Isabella   February 1, 2010 at 8:06 am

    Sending you lots of hugs and warm soup from across the country. Take one day at a time and spoil yourself with simple comforts. We'll all be here when you're ready.

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    Halley   February 1, 2010 at 12:07 am

    I'm so sorry for your loss. My thoughts will be with you.

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    M Smith   February 1, 2010 at 8:22 am

    I am so very sorry. I know exactly where you are coming from. I lost my father to a brain tumor. We had 8 weeks from diagnosis until he left us. It was the hardest 8 weeks of my life, yet you managed through it for 2 and a half years.

    Peace and sincere understanding to you and your family.

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    Karen   February 1, 2010 at 8:33 am

    So sorry for your loss. Reading your words reminded me of losing my mom a few years ago. Terribly difficult.

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    OffTheHooks   February 1, 2010 at 8:47 am

    so sorry to hear about your loss. take your time and thanks so much for being brave and sharing.

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    CHANTEUSE   February 1, 2010 at 8:53 am

    I'm so very sorry to hear about your loss. I lost my mom 14 years ago to cancer, and not a day goes by that I don't think about her. I remember holding her hand and watching her breathing stop, just as you described. And I remember struggling, at first, to hold on to the good memories- of her strong and smart and vibrant- instead of the last memories of her illness.

    I understand the fog you're in right now, and which you will probably be in for the next few months. Enjoy it, as things get harder when the fuzziness first goes away. And do talk about it- as much as you need and as much as you can to whomever will listen. Your sense of loss will never go away, but it can be lessened and made bearable with time,honesty and acceptance. Denial and silence only make it much much worse.

    Good luck to you on this most terrible of journeys. I wish there was more to say…

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    Soto Sister   February 1, 2010 at 9:04 am

    So sorry for your loss. I hope you are comforted by knowing that your mom helped make you the capable person you are today.

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    Mandi   February 1, 2010 at 9:09 am

    I am so glad that you were able to share those beautiful memories of your mom.

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    Mari   February 1, 2010 at 9:15 am

    I'm so glad that you shared your news with us, and I'm sending you both love and hugs from Amsterdam. Take your time.

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    Kelly   February 1, 2010 at 9:30 am

    So sorry to hear the sad news about your mother. She's in my thoughts.

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    Luisa   February 1, 2010 at 9:37 am

    oh my goodness, my heart is just aching for you. i'm sending you strength and a big big hug from berlin. i can't imagine what you must be feeling right now. but i'm thinking of you and wishing you all the best in this next part of life, without your mom but with all the memories of her, in your head and in your heart and in the mirror, present with you all the time.

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    Anonymous   February 1, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Many anonymous readers are crying with you. I am very close to my mother and can't imagine your sorrow. I am very, very sorry for your loss.

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    kntgrl   February 1, 2010 at 10:13 am

    so sorry Jeanette.
    have been thinking about you and wondering.
    all the best vibes and feelings to you and yours.
    take care.

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    G.   February 1, 2010 at 10:19 am

    your strength, love and tenderness are so evident in this beautiful post. my deepest condolences to your family. your mother sounds like an incredible woman and i love that you saw her smile in the end. xo.

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    leftcoastjess   February 1, 2010 at 10:26 am

    I'm so very sorry…
    You don't know me at all but I feel like I know you, from reading your blog, and I want to extend my very warmest and most supportive thoughts to you during this hard time. My best friend has a rapidly progressing terminal diagnosis, and I feel your pain in watching a loved one lose those pieces that make them who they are.
    Much peace.

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    happy_stomach   February 1, 2010 at 10:31 am

    I'm very sorry for your loss. Sending healing thoughts…

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    thesunnyabyss   February 1, 2010 at 10:53 am

    I'm a lurker, I just had say that I am sorry for your loss, my mother died of cancer six years ago, I truly do sympathize with you, take care

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    KatyBelle   February 1, 2010 at 10:57 am

    I am so, so sorry. Take care and be gentle with yourself for the next while.

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    Jen   February 1, 2010 at 11:00 am

    I'm so sorry you've lost your mom–it sounds, though, like you have lots of lovely memories which will hopefully help you get through this.

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    Rachel   February 1, 2010 at 11:37 am

    I am sorry to hear this! My grandpop died just over a year ago and I still feel like someone punched me in the chest when I think of him and remember he is gone. It doesn't get easier but eventually you will start thinking of her as she was when she was healthy not as she was towards the end and it will be a comfort.

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    JLGB   February 1, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Thank you for choosing to share this – it's a beautiful post; something more people should consider writing.

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    kimberleyblue   February 1, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    I'm sorry.

    Take care of yourself and take the time you need to start healing.

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    Katie   February 1, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Oh, Jeanette. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. You're one strong lady, and such an incredible tribute to your mom. Your love comes right off the screen. I'm so glad you were able to be there with her. Peace to you.

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    The Benny's   February 1, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    I went through the exact same thing you did 3 years ago… For me the pain is still raw, but slowly I am replacing the images of her illness with happy memories. I think you did a beautiful thing by writting this post…good therapy.

    Prend soins de toi.
    Lucie

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    Wendy   February 1, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    oh, I'm so sorry! I remember feeling the same way in the weeks after my dad passed… like everything had been turned on its head… thanks for sharing with us. and keep talking. it's good. blessings to you!

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    brie   February 1, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Dear Jeanette,

    I'm so sorry to hear about your mother's death. And I thank-you for being so open and frank about her and your experiences. I'm sending hugs and warm thoughts your way.

    xobrie

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    Ally Evans   February 1, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    Thank you for writing this post. It is a pleasure to read your blog. Sending you a hug.

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    Erin   February 1, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    I'm sorry, there are not a lot of things as hard as this. I lost my dad when he was 52, nine years ago now, heart attack out of nowhere. The best thing anyone said to me at the time was that nothing will be the same now, there's before it happened and after it happened. Eventually it hurts less, but that's it. It sounded harsh, but it was comforting, and ultimately, true. I gave birth to my son the day after the anniversary of his death… it is funny how these things connect.

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    Tartelette   February 1, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    I have tears as big as canon balls right now reading this. I have not lost my mother but I lost my brother a few years ago and your post made me think of the day we said goodbye.
    All my love and deepest thoughts to you and your family.
    Congrats on the new baby too.

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    Amanda   February 1, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    A beautiful retelling of such a sorrowful time. I'm extraordinarily sorry for your heartbreaking loss…

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    D. Prince   February 1, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    What a beautiful tribute you've written. Thinking of you during this difficult time.

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    Dana   February 1, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    "Love is like a violin. The music may stop now and then, but the strings remain forever."

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    Su-Lin   February 1, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    I am truly truly sorry for your loss. I hope your mother is at peace wherever she is now. Take care of yourself.

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    Amanda Nicole   February 1, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Sending you lots of hugs and warmth. Losing a parent feels like losing a limb. I think it's important to remember her when she was well.

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    Anonymous   February 1, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    We are very sorry for your loss kickpleat.Thank you for sharing a little bit of your maman with us. Please take care.

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    longbonyfingeroftheuniverse   February 1, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    I'm so glad that you did write about your relationship with your mother, and of her death. I appreciate it very much. I feel that being with someone you love, when they die, is as much of a privilege as being there for a birth. It's a sad event but it is such a powerful transition. My mother is alive but I have a similar relationship to her as you describe having with your mother. Your experience makes me want to go and see her and hug her close.
    Thank you for sharing, and although I have never met you, reading your blog makes you feel like you are part of my community. You are in my thoughts.

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    dynagrrl   February 1, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    I am really so very sorry for your loss. What a beautiful posting about your Maman, you are incredibly strong and brave. I read your blog all the time and love your casual healthy attitude about food. I now see that you carry this same attitude throughout all aspects of your life. My thoughts are with you and your family.

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    darianj5   February 1, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I knew something was wrong from your last entry. Thank you for sharing. I'm sending good thoughts and wishes.

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    Melissa   February 1, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    That was so beautifully written. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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    Elle   February 1, 2010 at 9:39 am

    I'm deeply sorry for your loss. I can't stop crying. Thanks for sharing your story. Take all the time you need.

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    Brenda   February 1, 2010 at 9:57 am

    I too add myself to the list of people who wish to say they are sorry for your loss. I'm in a similar situation with my mom, who has COPD and I live far away. It is a slow going-away of her from my life. Hard to accept, and yet there it is. You talk about it all you want. I do the same. Some people listen; others avoid me now. You're brave and I'm full of hope for you. You're a great role model for me, when I lose my mother, which will be soon enough.

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    jb   February 1, 2010 at 10:03 am

    jeannette, i am so sorry about the loss of your mother. i am glad you were able to be with her and i am glad she was able to experience a new part of your family.

    keep talking. keep breathing. and take all the time that you need to – however you need to, to process all of this. she's with you. she always will be.

    xo

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    robina   February 1, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    while i know i already sent my love on lj, i just wanted to tell you that this post is incredible. it is sad, yes, but the love radiating from it is overwhelmingly moving and beautiful to me. what a tribute to your mother that she produced such an amazing, thoughtful woman.

    your family will be in my thoughts.

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    wendy   February 1, 2010 at 10:30 am

    I'm soooo sorry and moved by your story of the loss of your mom. My heart goes out to you… I lost my mom when I was only 20 years old. You were so lucky to have her as long as you did. Take good care of yourself.

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    Jess   February 1, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    I'll be holding you in my thoughts and in my heart.

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    Agi Graham   February 1, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I wanted to be among the many who wrote to say that this post was so touching and so beautifully written. I'm glad you chose to share with us a bit of your Maman. I feel like I have caught a glimmer of her spirit. I marvel at how a woman can look so stylish and put together while holding a baby and wearing pink slippers!
    God Bless you and your family.

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    Beth   February 1, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    I am so sorry… but thank you for sharing this story with all of us!

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    Eleana   February 1, 2010 at 11:05 am

    So sorry about your loss and my deepest condolences to your family. Your post was very heartfelt and brought tears to my eyes. I wish the best for you and your family at this time.

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    The Casual Baker   February 1, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    a lovely tribute to your maman.

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    Hungry Robot   February 1, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    "What we know is not much. What we do not know is immense."

    Pierre-Simon Laplace (1749-1827)

    ELS – Take care of yourself and your family. We will all be here waiting for you if you need us.

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    Steph   February 1, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Blessing to you and yours.

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    Michaela Hinks   February 1, 2010 at 11:55 am

    I am so very sorry, my grandfather passed of a brain tumor as well. He was the math guy. He could think numbers like others can think words. Then, one day, my mother and he were playing cards and he didn't know what the numbers meant.
    Perhaps your mother was making room for this new baby?

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    Sleepydumpling   February 1, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss, and I am sending thoughts and prayers for you and your family. I am sure your Mum is at peace now, watching over her brood and willing you all to remember the good things.

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    Katherine   February 1, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I was really moved by your memories of your mother and I know that she will live on in your cooking.

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    DJ Dyer   February 1, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Dear Jeannette,
    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your mom. I had no idea she was ill or that your trip involved going to see her because of her illness. She sounded like a wonderful woman and what you have written here is a beautiful testament to her life. And I'm glad your she got to meet her granddaughter.

    My Dad, my adopted Dad, passed away just over 2 years ago from alzheimer's. His too was a long, drawn out illness involving the worst of deteriorations of mind and then body. I didn't have as strong of relationship with him, as my adopted parents divorced when I was 8, but I was with him in the end and it was so very sad.

    The fog you are in is part of the grieving process. It takes time get through it, and everyone experiences grief differently. I am still grieving the loss of my 15 year relationship that ended a year and a half ago. Some days I see no end to the grieving, and then other days there a glimmer of a new future on the horizon. But I'm like you, in that I prefer to box things up and keep them private. But it's good to talk and share, this I am learning.

    Take care of yourself.
    Hugs to you and your family
    DJ

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    Anonymous   February 1, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    this is probably the wrong time to say this…

    i came for the recipes, i stayed for the wonderful way you have with words. your language brings life to your recipes.

    and thanks for sharing your memories of your mom.

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    Melynda   February 1, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    dwell and talk, You will be the better for it. She will always live in your heart, you will make room for her there, as you talk and share and heal.

    take care

    Melynda

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    Fred   February 2, 2010 at 12:12 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. Sending you good thoughts from Seattle. We'll be here to listen whenever you are ready…

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    Allisone   February 1, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Thank you for sharing your mother's story with us. She sounds like she was an incredible woman.

    I am very sorry for your loss.

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    Edith-Nicole (with a Child!)   February 1, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    Take all the time you need. My thoughts are with you in this time of sorrow and healing. Your mom was lucky to have you as a daughter.

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    Meg   February 2, 2010 at 4:16 am

    What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing this story with us. All my best wishes to you and yours. It sounds like you're all going to be okay.

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    M.Pau   February 2, 2010 at 6:37 am

    my mom died on 22nd of january, also cancer.After 5 years of hard fight.

    During this time, I have read regurarly your recipes, because i love cooking too. My mother teach me to love some brilliant and daily things as cooking, as your mother.

    Today I read your post, here in Tarragona (Spain) but I'm feel nearest of your feelings and thougts.

    I can't cry of feel pain, only dazing and foggy ideas. I'm feel empty…

    I hope that you and me, after hard times, we cant cook happilly.

    LOTS OF LOVE AND EMPATY.

    MPAU

  192. 192
    Molly   February 2, 2010 at 6:37 am

    my mom died on 22nd of january, also cancer.After 5 years of hard fight.

    During this time, I have read regurarly your recipes, because i love cooking too. My mother teach me to love some brilliant and daily things as cooking, as your mother.

    Today I read your post, here in Tarragona (Spain) but I'm feel nearest of your feelings and thougts.

    I can't cry of feel pain, only dazing and foggy ideas. I'm feel empty…

    I hope that you and me, after hard times, we cant cook happilly.

    LOTS OF LOVE AND EMPATY.

    MPAU

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    Jenious   February 2, 2010 at 7:58 am

    Sending blessings of comfort and peace to you and yours. Thanks for sharing your beautiful sentiments about your lovely mother.

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    Jill   February 2, 2010 at 9:28 am

    I always read blogs for the pretty food pictures and the delicious recipes, but never to have my heart touched. That just changed. Your writing brought tears to my eyes and they rolled down my cheeks in hot, watery streams. The picture of your mother in her slippers is so perfect. When your pain dulls, may you be filled with wonderful memories of your loving mother.

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    pauline   February 2, 2010 at 9:51 am

    I just came across your blog while on Julies blog . Tears are rolling down my cheeks for your loss, I am so sorry . I can't imagine loosing my mum who is 89 and such a huge part of my life. After loosing my dad I felt that for a long time the world just wasn't the same. But now I just remember who he was and his character without the huge sadness. You will too one day I pray. Take care.

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    Sarena Shasteen - The Non-Dairy Queen   February 2, 2010 at 10:13 am

    I can't even begin to tell you how sorry I am for your loss. Your story makes me think about my mother and her father. He passed away 5 years ago from a brain tumor. It originated as melanoma and then went into his brain. He went very quickly, in fact is was only a matter of weeks from the time he realized something was off. My mom was a daddy's girl and it broke my heart to see her lose him. It still breaks my heart to know that she misses him so much. My thoughts are with you and your family. Please give yourself time and thank you for sharing. Sometimes it is just nice to know that you aren't alone out there.

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    Shoshanna   February 2, 2010 at 10:36 am

    I am sorry for your loss; you wrote a lovely tribute to a great woman who meant a lot to you. I find that over time, your memory of your mom will be the ones of her in better health and happier times. All my best to you and your family at this difficult time.

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    This and That   February 2, 2010 at 10:42 am

    Your post is lovely, keep on writing until you don't need to anymore. My deepest sympathy's to you and yours.

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    Melinda Stanley   February 2, 2010 at 3:27 am

    Jeanette, I'm so sorry to hear of your Mom's passing. It's such a hard thing we have to go through, but in the end, we are much better people for having known them.
    I can only pass onto you, what was said to me when my Dad passed away: "Don't dwell on things left unsaid, but strive to be the person they would want you to be." I listened to this advice and I lived life like never before and thought of my Dad everyday while doing so. :)
    Thank you for opening up about this. It is something that most people shy away from, but when you've experienced it, you have to get it out; describe your thoughts, feelings, the hurt, because it is so unreal. Verbal expression is almost not enough.

    Take care and keep cooking in memory of your Mom. :)

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    hag   February 2, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Words cannot express what you must be going through right now, but you did it beautifully in your post. Your sense of loss and pain is palpable. Thank you for sharing this and your thoughts with us. I must admit, as i write this I am crying… what you expressed took me right back 3 1/3 years to when my Dad died (slowly) from Cancer. Thank you also for sharing your family photos, your Mum looked like such a warm person (and I love your red shoes!). Take care of yourself, be mindful, ask for help if you need it! I am so sorry for your loss. A big warm hug for you!

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    Nicole   February 2, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Sorry to hear of your loss. Indeed it's good to talk about it. Take care.

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    hanne   February 2, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    I'm so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and sympathy are with you and your family.

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    Stephanie   February 2, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    I send you my deepest sympathies. x

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    Ruth   February 2, 2010 at 6:42 am

    I'm so sorry for your loss. A very brave post and beautifully written, thank you for sharing.

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    the Inner 'I'   February 2, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    We do not know each other, but I know your deep grief, your missing of your Mom that is so deep and that changes everything. I lost my beloved Dad almost 2 years ago.

    It is so very hard to let go, even when it is time for them to leave.

    My deepest condolences and my wishes for healing and peace to all of you,
    Ilene in Maryland

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    Jennifer in Kansas   February 2, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    blessings to you.

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    Ruby Louise   February 2, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    I'm so sorry for your loss. *hug*

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    thecatskillkiwi   February 2, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    I'm so sorry about your mother… she is now at peace and hopefully you will come to be at peace with this too.

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    Zoe   February 2, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    I never leave comments on your blog but it is my most favorite of all cooking blogs. I kind of consider you my Canadian neighbor, and I your Seattle cousin. I love soup, you love soup, it's pretty much ideal.

    I knew something must be wrong in your world when I hadn't seen any posts from you in a while. I am so sorry. Although I cannot imagine losing a parent I know I eventually will have to. I can only hope that I will express my loss to others as articulately, as thoughtfully, as tenderly and as lovingly as you just shared your mother with us.

    Congratulations on becoming an aunt. As a loyal long time reader (and neighbor!), I look forward to your triumphant return to cooking. But in the mean time, I hope you take as much time as you need. We don't always need recipes, many of us are invested in you and your life just as much as your food.

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    Info   February 2, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    I never leave comments on your blog but it is my most favorite of all cooking blogs. I kind of consider you my Canadian neighbor, and I your Seattle cousin. I love soup, you love soup, it's pretty much ideal.

    I knew something must be wrong in your world when I hadn't seen any posts from you in a while. I am so sorry. Although I cannot imagine losing a parent I know I eventually will have to. I can only hope that I will express my loss to others as articulately, as thoughtfully, as tenderly and as lovingly as you just shared your mother with us.

    Congratulations on becoming an aunt. As a loyal long time reader (and neighbor!), I look forward to your triumphant return to cooking. But in the mean time, I hope you take as much time as you need. We don't always need recipes, many of us are invested in you and your life just as much as your food.

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    jacqui | happyjackeats   February 2, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    your mother was beautiful. thank you for sharing this and for letting us know how wonderful she was. i'm sorry for your lost, and happy for your newest addition to the family. keep writing, keep talking, as much as you need to. we'll be here.

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    kristyhayter   February 2, 2010 at 8:36 am

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Please take care of yourself and allow yourself to do whatever you need to do to grieve. sending postive engery your way.

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    kristyhayter   February 2, 2010 at 8:39 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. make sure to take time for yourself and time to grieve. do whatever you need to do for yourself. I am sending positive energy your way.

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    becka   February 2, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us Jeannette. I can only imagine how tough this must have been, but what a beautiful person she was. We're so lucky to have been given a glimpse into that through your words. Thinking of you and looking forward to tea dates :)

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    LuluR   February 2, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    Lovely tribute to a life well lived. My very best wishes to you and your family.

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    young   February 2, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    So sorry for your loss. Glad that you did share…hopefully it helps in the processing.

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    Anonymous   February 2, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    So sorry about your mom. My mom died almost exactly one year ago and I could relate to your post. We were very close, talked every day (although we lived far away). She was my best friend. It's been a difficult year, I think about her all the time. There's definitely a void that no one else can ever fill, but with time it does get a little easier. Take care of yourself, just as your mother would want you to do.
    My thoughts are with you.

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    Anonymous   February 2, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    im praying that you find the comfort and peace that you need to get you through

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    Keshia   February 2, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    You are such a strong person to be able to write this post and share it with others. After reading this story, I prayed for your mother's spirit and hope that your family will be surrounded by blessings. Although it is hard for us left here on Earth to understand, death brings people to a richer and relaxed state. Take pride and know that you and your family are blessed with the memories that you have of your mom. Take comfort in the fact that she can see and feel more of you than she has before. Continue with all of the passion that your mom has passed down to you and make her proud! I'm sure is smiling at you even now.

    With much love.

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    Emily Wagner   February 2, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    so much love to you.

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    Jessica   February 2, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Oh I am sorry. So, so, so sorry. I know what a loss like this feels like. Please keep talking.

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    thecoffeesnob   February 2, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    I'm so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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    Kaleena   February 2, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    I am very sorry to hear about your mom. When you return I would love for you to join me at Top Notch Eats. I love the style/content of your blog it is so well done….

    http://www.topnotcheats.blogspot.com

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    Amy   February 2, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    beautiful post, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

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    Kirsten   February 2, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Oh, Jeanette, I'm so sorry. Thank you for being so brave and vulnerable, and inspiring me even in this very difficult time. If you ever need anything, I'm just a couple of blocks away.

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    Rhonda   February 3, 2010 at 7:12 am

    sorry to hear about your loss.

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    global peasant   February 3, 2010 at 9:18 am

    What a lovely post, such a sweet and caring tribute to your Mamam. I hope you find some comfort in all the love sent your way through the many comments from your readers.

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    Keri   February 3, 2010 at 11:24 am

    I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your mom..a very moving post. I can't imagine what you are going through but I hope that your days become lighter.

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    lauren   February 3, 2010 at 4:41 am

    When it's someone so close, sometimes it takes a while for the loss to sink in. You should surround yourself with love and lovely memories of her.

    May you find strength to help you through this difficult time.

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    Deanna   February 3, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Aww, I am sad to hear of your loss. I stumbled upon your blog most likely from another foody one some time ago and check in occasionally. I lost my Mom to cancer in 2004 and still miss her terribly. She too, was brave and tried new treatment til the end. It will take a while, you will feel empty. Keep talking though, it's important to do that, and it's ok to cry and talk some more, so we never forget. Take care of yourself and enjoy the new little life as well. Hugs from MN.

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    DanGarion   February 3, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Very sorry to hear about your loss. My thoughts are with you.

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    cheveux rouge   February 3, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Can I just say… and this is the first time I've ever read your blog, not even sure how I found it, but… thank you. My heart is sad for you, and I can't say I know how you feel, but some sad day I will. I think the best healing is knowing that there is love out there, and shared experience both good and sad.

    Your post about your truly lovely mother inspires me to be the kind of mama that maybe someday my daughter will write beautiful things about.

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    dina the mundane and oblivious   February 3, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    My thoughts are with you. I'm so sorry for your loss, but your post was beautiful and touching.

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    Becca   February 3, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss.

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    Anonymous   February 3, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    A beautiful post. I feel the love. And really, what better legacy is there?

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    Maggie   February 4, 2010 at 6:30 am

    I'm so sorry for your loss. What a Beautiful tribute to your Maman!

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    Anonymous   February 4, 2010 at 7:29 am

    stay strong
    much love.

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    Anonymous   February 4, 2010 at 7:59 am

    I so sorry to hear about you mom. I know life will never be the same for you but you inspire so many I know your mom is proud of you. I never comment her, but thank you for sharing.

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    Jesseline   February 4, 2010 at 8:25 am

    As I sit here at my desk at work, I'm having a hard time holding back the tears for the loss of a woman I've never met. You're truly a gifted writer…

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    Maris   February 4, 2010 at 9:02 am

    I'm so sorry for your loss. This was such a heartfelt post, it made me tear up! My thoughts are with you and your family.

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    Jennywenny   February 4, 2010 at 11:58 am

    so sorry. I hope sharing your sadness helps. I agree that death shouldnt be something that we avoid discussing.

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    Cheryl Arkison   February 4, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    No one can explain away your own grief experience. My two cents of advice – after going through a similar experience – is to embrace every single emotion, expect it to be bad for more than a little while, and hold on to the tiny sliver that lets you know that someday it will be less hard. Take care.

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    Anonymous   February 4, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Hi, I've been reading your blog for quite some time now and have always enjoyed it but never felt the urge to comment until now. This post brought tears to my eyes.
    You wrote about such a sad topic in such a beautiful way. I am so sorry about what you are going through, but thank you for sharing such heartfelt words with us.

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    Anonymous   February 5, 2010 at 7:50 am

    BEND low, O dusky Night,
    And give my spirit rest.
    Hold me to your deep breast,
    And put old cares to flight.
    Give back the lost delight
    That once my soul possest,
    When Love was loveliest.
    Bend low, O dusky Night!

    By Louise Chandler Moulton

    May you always remember when love was loveliest.
    xox Katharine in Vancouver

  245. 245
    Katy   February 5, 2010 at 9:24 am

    I'm so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers!

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    Sara   February 5, 2010 at 3:57 am

    I've been a long-time reader of your blog. My mom passed away on Jan 8th. When I saw your hiatus post, somehow I had a feeling you were going through something similar. Just wanted to let you know that I am so sorry for you loss, and to thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings so honestly and beautifully.

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    PM27   February 5, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My Mother died in 1976 which is so many years ago but every Feb.1 I think of her specially as that was her birthday.
    I have only recently found your website but I am drawn to its down-to earth approach.
    Take care and treasure all that you remember.

  248. 248
    Anonymous   February 6, 2010 at 7:26 am

    Thank you for sharing a beautifully written post about your maman. I'm guessing that she was very proud to have such a talented and loving daughter. My deepest sympathies to you and your family. Time will help the process. Take all that you need.

    –Julie, a reader in SF,CA

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    Eugenia210   February 6, 2010 at 8:40 am

    I am so sorry!!!
    I send you a big hug from Argentina.
    Eugenia.

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    Dana   February 6, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Oh Jeanette. I've been wondering about you and your mom. I just got back from vacation and read this post first thing. I'm so sorry. You have captured a difficult thing and difficult to describe emotions just beautifully. Thank you.

  251. 251
    Tanya   February 7, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Jeanette — I am sure there is nothing new I can add or say to make you any less sad. I do want to share that I lost my mother suddenly when I was a senior in high school. I still miss her everyday (it has been 19 years) but over time was/is able to remember her in healthy good times. Now that I am a mother I wish I could call her to ask all types of parenting things. I can't do that, but I can learn from how she raised me and my brother and sister. I think she did a pretty good job. From what I know of YOU (and feel lucky I got to have coffee with you almost two years ago), YOUR mom did an amazing job as well.
    Stay strong and know that many people are sending their thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

    with kind regards,
    Tanya

  252. 252
    Daily Spud   February 7, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    So sorry for your loss and so touched by your post – I can't imagine how difficult it must have been to write, but if it has helped you in any way, then that can only be a good thing. Take care.

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    Katina   February 7, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    I am so sorry. Thank you for sharing with us. We are all here for you and thinking of you. xx

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    Donna   February 7, 2010 at 6:34 pm

    I lost my mom two years ago last week to cancer . . and this post made me cry.

    It gets easier but the hole hasn't sealed over yet. I wasn't with her when she died, (she lost conciousness the day after I left Saskatchewan to return to Ottawa; my sister was with her in her last weeks of life.) I just wanted to tell you that it gets easier. Love.

    - donna

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    Jocelan Thiessen   February 7, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Life is funny that way, i too gave birth to baby xen the same week that my grandmother was admitted to the same hospital…she saw the baby only once before she died but i kind of think she was holding out to see her.

    hugs!
    jocelan

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    wendy   February 8, 2010 at 6:21 am

    this is so utterly heart wrenching…even for me…a complete stranger. i am so very sorry for your loss.

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    sigrid   February 8, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    I'm so sorry to hear about your mother's death. It hurts to loose a parent, but I'm sure your memories of your healthy mom will stay with you forever.

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    Sara   February 8, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    so sorry for your loss. The post was gorgeously written, and I'm sure she would be proud of your perspective and pride in your family. Best to you ~

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    Anonymous   February 8, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Your mother's strength of spirit shines in these photos. What a lovely woman; you favor her A LOT. I hope time will ease your heart.

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    hannah | honey & jam   February 9, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    I'm so sorry for your loss. you wrote this post with so much strength and elegance.

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    vickys   February 9, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    *hug* I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. Seeing the photos of your mom just makes me feel so much more. I'm sure she left happy, and I'm sure you will continue to make her happy. :)

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    "Jambo Chameleon"   February 10, 2010 at 3:18 am

    Your story of your "Maman" is so beautifully written and moving.

    Thank you for sharing, and I hope with time, the pain will fade and more of the brighter older memories will come to the fore.
    Best wishes to you,
    Sally

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    plaisirs simples   February 10, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    so very sorry for your loss. remember the good times and cherish, as i'm sure you will. xo

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    Rachael   February 11, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I held my mom while she died almost 6 years ago. The pain fades, and it's good to know she's free, but it's so hard for us left behind.

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    bowiechick   February 12, 2010 at 9:33 am

    My deepest condolences and you wrote a lovely, lovely post about your Mum. I'd like to thank her for teaching you to cook and thus sharing all that you do here. Writing will help. Hugs from New West.

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    lexih   February 12, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    I came to your blog via Readymade, all ready to greedily gobble up some recipes & here you have shared this beautiful story.
    I cried while reading the entire post. Your mom sounds very similar to my mom (she taught me to cook & sew & knit) & she is one of my best friends; I would be completely lost without her.
    I'm so sorry for your loss & I send you virtual best wishes from the Prairies.

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    Cookie baker Lynn   February 12, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    How wonderful that your mother got to see her grandbaby! Thank you for sharing such a personal post. Sending you virtual hugs.

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    Ja9   February 12, 2010 at 10:42 am

    I cried reading the blog.
    I am glad your mama got to see the bundle of joy before she had passed. You have good memories of her and you can share good stories of her.
    Hang it there and you will pull thru'. "Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss in life is what dies in us while we live." – Norman Cousins Your ma will want you and ur family to be happy. ;o)

  269. 269
    Geek+Nerd   February 14, 2010 at 6:44 am

    Oh Jeannette…I'm doing some catching up on my blogs and this is the first that I am seeing this. I am so sorry for your loss. You mom sounds swell! I'm in the U.S, but my family is 100% French Canadian descent, so your memories of your mom really struck a chord with me. The flow from English into French, the tourtiere…

    Of course you are missing her right now, and you always will, but your mom has given you many beautiful gifts, two being your love of life and your love of food. You can honor her every day by being the best you possible, and in a tiny way, she will always live on through you.

    Sending big hugs!!!

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    justthreethings   February 14, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Jeanette, I'm only just seeing this now. I'm so sorry. Strength to you and your family in the days and weeks ahead. Best, Amy (formerly of Shake your fist)

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    cabin + cub   February 18, 2010 at 10:31 am

    Really sad to hear of the news. Roger and I are both sorry for your loss and send our warmest hugs and condolences. Let us know f you need anything.

    xoxo
    Valerie + Roger

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    eatme_delicious   February 18, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    I'm so sorry for your loss. It's so hard to lose somebody so important to you.

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    myra-lee   February 19, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    I just want to say how sorry I am about your mom. I think that was really courageous of you to write about this here, so openly and beautifully. xo.

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    Gillian   February 19, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    I am so very sorry for your loss. I visit your blog from time to time and knew you were on hiatus, and on this visit I scrolled down the more recent posts hoping to see the post of you coming back and hopefully with good news. I was so so sad to hear of your loss and was crying when I read your post. Thank you for sharing it though. I am glad you got the chance to be with your mom when she passed. I'm sure she is very proud of you. Take care and my condolences to you and yours.

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    lyndsay   February 19, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    dear jeannette, sincerest sympathies on the loss of your mom.

    lots of hugs,
    lyndsay

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    kate / tinywarbler   February 19, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    i'm so very sorry jeannette. what a beautiful post and i can certainly see the striking resemblance, especially in the first photo! it sounds like you have so many lovely memories with her. thank you for sharing your experience. sending you a big hug, you're in my thoughts. xo

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    celine   February 20, 2010 at 12:07 am

    I'm lost for words. :(
    best thoughts to you and your family…

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    Melinda   February 22, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    Hello, I have never visited your blog but decided to have a little read and decided I would read yours.
    I am sorry to read that your mother has passed away. I loved the things that you said about her. They are so loving and touching.
    My mother passed away in 1997. I still miss her all the time but I love remembering things about her. Unlike some people who can not or do not want to talk about losing their mother, I seem to love to talk about her. Everyone is different.
    I just don't want to forget the love and laughter she gave to me.
    I love making recipes from her hand written cards. I love re- reading cards she sent to me and tuck them in my cookbooks so they fall out, like they are being delivered all over again. Anyway…
    I send you good wishes from a far away stranger!

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    Honeybee   February 23, 2010 at 2:01 am

    I haven't been around to your blog in a while and I only saw the post about your mother now. We don't know each other, all the interaction we ever had was a few comments I left on some of your posts. Yet, I want you to know that my heart goes out to you and your family. I say a prayer right here and now, asking god to help you bear the pain and the sadness. Take care of yourself.

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    Lia   November 20, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    I just discovered your blog, although Kickpleat sounds familiar and I’m wondering if your blog used to have a different name? This was the second post I read. It was so touching, honest and a wonderful tribute to your mother.

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