Love, Loss and Life and Ina Fridays

I have been doing a lot of thinking of late and much of it brings peace and acceptance.  I have discovered that these three words, love, loss and life are intertwined and the lines can be blurred.  The sadness of the loss is powerful, the memories of my daughter's life are momentous, and the love we had and have is awe inspiring.

She was my first daughter and was always filled with life.  As a child, her spunkiness got her into big trouble. Despite this, how could one be angry when she was always fighting for a cause.  So what , if she told a bully off in no uncertain terms.  So what, if she argued with a teacher who was acting like he was ten years old.  Once again, she was in the right.  This led her to become an adult who fought for the rights of others, fought for the lives of others, fought for her beliefs.

In her years of pain and sickness, she counseled others with her illness, she spoke in public to inform, she quietly listened to others weeping.  Her home was open to everyone and they brought with them both joy and sadness.  She listened and helped when possible.  She happily shared in their successes and pride.

After her death, we found out many accomplishments of hers, including stopping someone from taking her life.  She never said a word.  She just did and continued to do.  That is true life.  Many strangers came to the Shiva. They had never met her, just knew her through email but wanted to share their memories and their loss.

Love.  Just ask her husband.   Just ask her children.  Just ask her parents.  Just ask her friends.  I think, I can safely add, just ask her acquaintances.  She loved freely and with an open heart.  As her Mommy, I felt special and cherished.  She was so wise, I would go to her for advice.  I often wondered, where she came from with her special traits.

Loss.  I keep thinking of what I want to tell her and I have learned to talk to her, in my  head, and hope she can hear me.  Her presence feels real and whether it is or not, it comforts.  I miss my little girl and grown-up lady and I have been blessed to have her, in my life and now in my loss.

My prayer for all of you is to be blessed with children like this, children who fill your lives with warmth and smiles, hugs and kisses, stories and mementos.  We get more from our children than we can possible give to them.  I am so thankful for this.

I found this old post with a main dish from Ina and I am putting here to keep myself current without effort.

Baked Potatoes Stuffed with BBQ Chicken   adapted 
1/2 cup(s) shredded cooked chicken
1/4 cup(s) shredded carrots
2 tablespoon(s) barbecue sauce   (Recipe Below)
2 teaspoon(s) light ranch dressing  (Bottled)
Bake 3 large potatoes at 400 degrees for 1 hour.  Remove from oven and slice through the middle so that you have two separate halves.
Combine chicken, carrots and barbecue sauce in a bowl.Spread ranch dressing on the baked mashed potato. Top with the chicken mixture which is pushed down, pulling up some potato to mix gently.
Return to oven to heat for no more than five minutes.
Barbecue Sauce   -  Ina Garten    (I made approximately a third of this recipe.)
Makes 6 cups
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 large onion)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup tomato paste (10 ounces)
1 cup cider vinegar (I ran out of cider vinegar so I subbed in red wine vinegar)
1 cup honey
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
leftover fried mushrooms and red peppers (1/2 cup)
In a large saucepan on low heat, saute the onions and garlic with the vegetable oil for 10 to 15 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not browned. Add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer uncovered on low heat for 30 minutes. Use immediately or store in the fridge.  The photo is missing the barbecue sauce.


  1. Chaya, I have been thinking about you a lot. I can't imagine this loss.

    What you've written here brought me to tears. It is a beautiful piece. Even though I did not know your daughter, I know that what you've written captures who she was very well.

    My thoughts have been and will continue to be with you and your family.

  2. Chaya,
    I have read your post twice, and I still have no words only very deep sorrow for you and your family. From the beginning you have been such a strong example for me and I am sure many others, thank you for that. You and your family continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.
    Miz Helen

  3. Chaya,
    My dear blogging friend. Since I retired from teaching, I have been traveling and have not been reading other blogs since this past October. This is the first I read of your daughter's passing. Please accept my sincere condolences. My heart goes out to you. What you have written is so beautiful and loving . Even in your pain, you are an inspiration to others.

  4. Chaya, I was very surprised to see that you had posted since you said you would skip it this month. Hopefully by posting and communicating about your loss it will help to alieve some of the pain. I had a young friend die last year and it was amazing to hear all the stories about how she affected other people's lives. Your daughter sounds like she was a very special person and that she continues to live in the hearts of many.
    Mireya @myhealthyeatinghabits

  5. I am so sorry for your loss. Your daughter sounds like an amazing woman and inspiration to many. Im sure her legacy will live on in her children.

  6. Dear Chaya, Know that you have been in my thoughts and prayers. I am glad you are sharing your feelings and not hiding away. Please know that we will always be here for you. May God bless you, your daughter and your families. With love, your friend, Catherine xo

  7. My heart aches for you but I can already see that you will handle this with dignity and strength.



  8. Thank you all for your comments. I can't tell you how much they mean to me and what a difference it makes to read them. I see that every word, every wish, every prayer makes a world of difference. Yes Mia, I am going to post whenever it feels right and hopefully the normalcy of posting, working and talking to people will take me further along the path. As many of you realized, our daughter was a spectacular woman who suffered from her illness but did not let it interfere and when she was up to it, helping others. She set the bar high for me but I want to make even a dent of what she accomplished for others.

    Thanks to all of you.

  9. What an awesome human your daughter was! What a blessing to have her in your life! What precious love and joy she still brings. hugs.

  10. What an amazing daughter! And what an amazing mother you are. To remember her by her love, kindness and memories she made. Hugs.

  11. How blessed you were to have such a caring, loving, giving child. There is a pain in my heart for your loss.

  12. Losing a loved one is such a difficult thing to deal with...

    It tends to make us reevaluate life.

    It sounds like your daughter left a lasting impression with everyone she encountered...

    I am sorry for your loss.

    Thanks for linking to the letter "L".

    Lovely post!


  13. So sorry to hear of your loss. You and your family are in my prayers.


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