Giving Thanks



It’s been a while. I haven’t been ignoring you – I’ve been sad. My beautiful Mother left this world on November 4th and is now cooking for the angels. She’s earned her wings as she has suffered from dementia for over six years. Dementia is an ugly disease that robs a person of their mind, their memories and their quality of life. Although I’m sad, I take peace in knowing that she’s in a better place.

While Mom’s dementia robbed Mom of her dignity – it also gave us gifts. As a family, my two sisters, my Father and myself worked hard to keep Mom at home until her final breath. It wasn’t easy but sometimes life’s challenges force other things that don’t always come easy – like forgiveness, stepping outside of your comfort zone, unconditional love and bond of family that you took for granted.  At her funeral, we all realized the legacy that Mom left behind and that was us – a family who took on this disease and fought it in spite of it’s looming demise. We cared for her, loved her, sang to her, cleaned her, fed her and held her hand – just like she did for us in our early years. God bless my Father – who at 88 years old, made it his mission to be her caretaker in spite of his aging issues. He never complained and was determined to keep her at home.


I began this blog because of my Mom. Her cooking was her gift of love. As her memories faded, I wanted to recapture her recipes for my girls and for myself. I wanted to pay tribute to her Slovak and Polish heritage that influenced her cooking and baking. Holidays were filled with wonderful meals and bakery that took hours to make. There was always plenty to go around and to take home.

I’ve only begun sharing her recipes and promise to do more. This week I choose to go into the holiday with quiet reflection giving thanks for what she gave us when she was alive – and for what she left behind.  In the meantime, here’s some of my favorite holiday recipes to enjoy!

I will be back soon with so much more to share! In the meantime, have a blessed Thanksgiving and show gratitude to the ones you love while you can.


Love you Momma!


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Dementia, holiday Polish recipes, holiday recipes, holidays, reflections, slovak cooking About Me, Holidays

10 comments on “Giving Thanks

  1. What a beautiful tribute and acknowledgement of your mother’s legacy. I wish you the comfort of good memories.

  2. Cynthia Melander on said:

    What a wonderful tribute to your mother. She must have been an extraordinary woman. Your family, too, as well as your Dad, did something so wonderful in keeping her home. Thank you for your meaningful and moving words.

  3. I just read about your mom and what you and your family went through and how you were all there for your mom. Wow, it touched my heart more than you could know.

    My mom and I very close. She lost her husband, my dad, when I was 7 months old, so I’ve always had only my mom … and my brother. We are a very close knit family, thankfully. Mom is 92 years old now, has a very bad back which causes her excrutiating pain. Now because she doesn’t sleep very well, she is alittle forgetful but I do think its not only the lack of sleep, I feel that dementia is creeping up on her.

    She also loved to cook and and bake. Being of Ukrainian decent, the holiday meals, especially, took hours to prepare. And she loved doing them all. I have taken over the preparation and cooking of these meals now. Every year she had helped in one way or another, this year, she hasn’t been able to help much at all. I’m very thankful she is still here with us and like you I am trying to get all her wonderful advice and tips and hints as I carry on the tradition for my family of all the wonderful holiday meals and holidays themselves.

    Your mom left you a wonderful gift of treasured memories and traditions. May you find comfort in all of them.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

  4. So sorry to hear of the loss of your mother!What a beautiful and wonderful tribute to your mom. I Wish God , keeps you and your family in the palm of his hand and gives you all the comfort and time it takes to heal. Try to think of all the good time it will help. Take care and God Bless!

  5. Luciana Boic on said:

    It resonated a lot with me. I’ve recently lost my Father (he had an aggressive lung cancer) and I’m finding comfort in the good memories and through stories like yours. Thank you for sharing.
    You have a beautiful family, and your Mother is watching over you all – cooking with the angels.

  6. A Kitchen Muse on said:

    Thank you for your kind words Luciana. When I get sad especially with the holidays coming, I remember all the baking she would do for us and I’m filled with her love.

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