I’ve tried to start this post a number of times, and it’s just been really difficult to find the right words.
Two weeks ago my mom passed away.
Many of you knew from my email that she had been in the hospital for a few weeks – she was taken in for a back fracture, and then it was discovered that she had survived some heart attacks in the past that left her heart damaged. We were hopeful that she would survive, but on the morning of April 29, her heart stopped and she went home to be with her Heavenly Father.
I really miss her. It’s still unreal to me. It feels like she should still be here – we spent so many days in the hospital hoping and praying that she would get stronger and live.
Since it’s Mother’s Day, I thought I’d tell you a few things about my mom, because she was amazing. In fact, I don’t think this website would be here if it wasn’t for her encouragement.
You see, when my first son was born, I was struggling with the idea of going back to work full-time. (I’m a violinist, and at that time, I was playing with a lot of different orchestras, and also teaching a full studio of private students). I loved being a mom, and was surprised at how little I wanted to be away from my baby.
My mom saw this, and suggested that we turn one of our hobbies, jewelry making, into a business. I wasn’t sure about this idea, but she really encouraged me, and we started an Etsy shop that we ran together. We even combined our names to create the name for our shop – Linkel Designs (Linda and Kelly). We sold our jewelry online as well as at local farmer’s markets and craft shows.
Because I had the Etsy shop, I decided to start this blog in 2009. At first it was a blog about everything – our jewelry designs, crafts, home decor, and recipes. As the number of food allergies and intolerances grew in my family, I focused on recipes. Once I zeroed in on allergy friendly recipes, this website grew and grew. My mom would always ask how my blog was doing and what recipes I was sharing.
She was the ultimate hostess, and a wonderful baker and cook. Everything I know about cooking, baking, and homemaking I learned from her.
Saying that she was a great hostess doesn’t really cover it. She would go over the top when she’d have a party or holiday. Just huge amounts of delicious food – appetizers, casseroles, desserts – and she made sure that everyone was included. If you had a special dietary need, it was covered.
She was known for her cooking – even at the funeral, people were reminiscing about her cabbage rolls and pierogis. Because I wasn’t about to miss out on her delicious recipes even after our dietary needs changed, I adapted several of my favorite recipes from her. Chocolate dessert pie, cream of potato soup (versions one and two), and sloppy joes are just a few favorites that made an appearance on my blog.
She even took her awesome hostess skills on the road. When I had solo recitals in college, she put on the most incredible receptions. She would transport everything to Kalamazoo or Cincinnati and make sure my friends and I had a good time celebrating after the recital. And not with prepackaged store-bought stuff, but fruit, vegetables, cheese, crackers, homemade brownies, cookies, cream puffs, pastry twists, and punch.
It’s so hard today to be without her. She was the best mom and the best grandma.
I’m heartbroken, but I’m also grateful. I’m grateful that God blessed me with a mom like her. She was creative, kind, funny, and supportive. I’m so thankful for all the wonderful times we had together.
She was the best.