Hello my loves! <3
It has been a while since I went all emotional on you guys… it’s because I’ve been perfecting this post, which has actually been in the works for quite some time now. It actually all started when my grief counsellor asked me if I would be willing to write a letter to my mom in order to get all my thoughts & emotions down on paper and to work through them in order to FINALLY grieve her passing.
At first, I was skeptical, but as I began writing the letter (which you can imagine I most certainly was not able to do in one sitting given how emotional it made me), I grew to love the idea & realized how much it was helping me to delve into my past, learn about myself & my experiences, but most of all, to grieve the worst loss I have ever suffered, to understand why I could not face it & to come to terms with it as best as I possibly can.
So, although this post does not have very much to do with food or recipes (Sowwy, my loves, there’s more coming your way. Promise!), it has EVERYTHING to do with my journey towards both recovery & grieving, two challenges I have taken on simultaneously and that I’ve realized are so closely & strongly intertwined. It’s been rough, but I won’t sit here & complain about it because I do VERY STRONGLY believe that G-d hands his toughest battles to his strongest soldiers. And I will not sugar coat it or be modest about this – I do believe I am A HELL OF A STRONG SOLDIER.
When I passed the Bar exam, I wish I could have told you how thankful I was for your CONSTANT, CONTINUOUS, NEVER-ENDING, ALL-CONSUMING, MOTHERLY LOVE & SUPPORT throughout law school (What I mean by this is: Thank you for the motivational texts, the I-can’t-go-an-hour-without-talking-to-you-phone-calls when I spent my nights in the library, the yummy snacks & dinners that were always ready no matter what time I got home, the “Kel, close your books & go out for a bit. You deserve it & you know your stuff” comments, the you-never-forgot-once PRE-EXAM texts & phone calls, BUT MOST OF ALL, thank you for always believing I could do it, even when it seemed completely, utterly, and discouragingly impossible).
When I got engaged, I wish I could have told you that I got where I was that day because of you & that I NEEDED you by my side to plan my wedding.
When I went to see my wedding dress designer for the first time, I wish I had you by my side so I could have told you how confused I was about what I wanted (& I know that within minutes, you would have made it all so clear).
When I was planning my wedding, I wish I could have told you how involved & amazing daddy was as he took on both fatherly & motherly roles with the goal of giving me the most perfect wedding (because I am sure that he knew that you would have done the absolute same and that’s exactly what he did until the VERY. LAST. SECOND. Thank you daddy, I love you!).
When daddy gave me your emerald ring at my Henna, I wish I could have told you that I felt like the luckiest girl in the world (I also wish I could have told you that whenever I wear it, a.k.a. EVERY SINGLE WAKING MINUTE, I look down at it & think of you).
When I walked down the aisle with daddy on my wedding day, I wish I could have told you how in that moment, I needed you (really badly) on my other side (But, I also wish I could have told you how proud you should be of daddy, even though I am sure you already were, for the amazing roles & constant support, which, I genuinely thought were impossible, he had taken on & provided in mine, Jon & Annie’s lives when we lost you).
When I was standing under the chuppah on my wedding day, I wish I could have told you that my ultimate goal in life was to be the wife & mom that you were to daddy, Jon, Annie & I.
Whenever I see someone wearing pearls or run into someone wearing Angel perfume, I wish I could tell you how much I’m thinking of you.
Whenever I sit at a beautifully-set table for Shabbat or holidays, I wish I could tell you that in those moments, all I could think about are the perfectly-decorated-vibrant- full-of-flowers-&-scrumptiously-delicious-food tables you set & I know YOU WOULD SET IT 8107483274932x times better (Please, to all my hosts/hostesses, do not get offended… MY MOM WAS SIMPLY THE BEST!).
When I go to the dry cleaners, bakery, pharmacy or grocery store, I wish I could tell you how ALL THE EMPLOYEES always tell me you were their favourite customer, always smiling, always chatty & always calling everybody “my love” (Guys, now you know where I get it from!). They always say you weren’t just a customer, but you were also their friend.
When I got diagnosed with anorexia, I wish I could have told you that I know with utter confidence that if you were still alive, my eating disorder would have never spiralled out of control in the way that it did (I also wish you could have hugged me & told me everything was going to be okay, because somehow whenever I heard it from you, I knew it was true).
When I was blamed for my mental illness, I wish I could have told you that I didn’t choose it & how each time I was blamed, my heart broke into a billion little pieces (& I know, with every ounce of bone in my body, that you would understand me & help me pick up every little piece & put my heart back together again).
When I found out I was criticized for choosing recovery & prioritizing and focusing on myself for ONCE in my life, I wish I could have told you how horrible & disgusting I felt (& I know you would have comforted me & told me not to let ANYONE get in my way & to keep moving forward because my HARD WORK is paying off).
Whenever I am cooking up a storm in my kitch, I wish I could tell you that you are my EVERYDAY-TWENTY-FOUR-SEVEN-INSPIRATION. I think back on all those times I used to chill with you in the kitchen until the wee-hours of the night when you were cooking for Shabbat & holidays (BECAUSE YOU WERE THE BEST. HOSTESS. EVER.) & I try to remember all those yummy recipes you whipped up to fill our tummies, all while keeping us healthy (P.S. I totally got my LOVE for COOKING, HOSTING & specifically, for SPICES from my momma);
When I have a bad day, am feeling sad & feel like I am about to fall, I wish I could tell you that YOU ARE THE REASON I HAVE THE DRIVE TO SMILE & GET BACK UP (No matter how hard it is. No matter how much I want to curl up into a little ball and hide under my covers. No matter how fake the smile is. & No matter how much it feels like things won’t turn up) BECAUSE I KNOW YOU ARE LOOKING DOWN ON ME 24/7 & the last thing in the world that I want is to disappoint you.
But most of all, when you got sick, I wish I could have told you how quickly & suddenly my world came crumbling down into a million tiny little pieces. But, I couldn’t. So mommy, here I am, YEARS LATER, telling you that: When you got sick, my world came crumbling down. And it’s only NOW, as I recover (& beat) anorexia & grieve your passing simultaneously, that I am slowly picking up the million little pieces & putting them back together again.
Better late than never, right?
I love you forever mommy & thank you for showing me what it means to be LOVED & CARED FOR ETERNALLY & UNCONDITIONALLY. You can rest assured that daddy also knows that ALL TOO WELL & has LITERALLY dedicated his life, heart & soul to raising Jon, Annie & I THE SAME WAY YOU WOULD HAVE DONE TOGETHER).
Love always & forever,
Kelly, “Your Princess”