This week, my usual space of words and recipes feels oddly hollow. The silence here reflects a much deeper quietude in my life, one that casts a long shadow over even the most brightly lit kitchen. My mom, the person who first taught me the magic of flour and fire, the alchemy of ingredients and emotions, is no longer here.
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I know this is a blurry photo, but I love this shot. Every time my mom called, this was the photo that popped up. It was a family day at Worlds of Fun here in Kansas City. I’m pretty sure we were on the Zambezi Zinger roller coaster.
Saying Goodbye to My Mom
It might seem strange to some, this connection between my mother and my blog. After all, I’m vegan. She was an omnivore. But to understand one is to understand the other — it was in her apron-clad embrace that I discovered the power of creation, the satisfaction of accomplishment, and the quiet joy of sharing something made with love.
Some of my earliest memories of my mom are of her in the kitchen. I’d sit there, a small child with flour-dusted cheeks, watching her hands knead dough, chop vegetables, and stir steaming pots with a practiced flick of her wrist.
In those moments, the kitchen wasn’t just a room; it was a universe. Each dish a story, each bite a memory.
My mom used to make this dish she called, Creamed Eggs on Toast. She’d make gravy and boil eggs. She’d add the boiled egg whites to the gravy. and mash the boiled egg yolks. Then we’d serve the gravy over toast with sprinkles of the mashed egg yolks on top.
I swear, one of these days, I will create a vegan version.
My mom in the kitchen, especially for big family holiday feasts, was a thing. I loved finding ways to make her laugh or smile as we prepared the dinners together. She lived a hard life and I made it my mission to make things better…at least when I could.
I learned from my mom by osmosis, soaking up the unspoken lessons of patience, precision, and the sheer joy of making something from scratch. It was a language whispered in the clinking of spoons, the sizzle of onions, the soft sighs of rising dough.
So, as I navigate this new landscape of grief, I am finding the familiar rhythm of the kitchen offers a strange solace. Each recipe, a whispered conversation with her, a way to keep her memory alive in the very place where she first ignited my passion.
My mom wrote me a poem once. This is what it said:
What a wonderful daughter you are,
You understand what I need from afar.
You encourage and inspire, to believe
That we can elevate our lives
And give a vision that we can be
More, than we ever thought before.
What I loved even more was her note explaining the poem:
- You work hard. You picked up the leaves for me; vacuumed the floor; helped me understand how to input on an iPhone. You took me to the doctor…and many more things.
- Understood and drove me to Dallas [for a family gathering]. So forgiving of my not getting around.
- Is it any wonder that Adee has achieved? I only wish I could have had a mother like you.
- I wrote some poems and you had me believing I could be a world-class writer. I have to say, oh well, it was kind of fun.
How sweet is that!
So, even as her health declined over the years, and her needs grew more and more, she always smiled and giggled when I came to see her. She would giggle so much we could hardly get a word in edgewise. It was adorable.
Everyone deserves to be celebrated like that. I only hope she knew how much I celebrated her.
The last week of my mom’s life was so intense with my sister and me (and others in the family) sitting vigil with her day and night. After she passed, I spent my days intentionally quiet.
Giving myself immense space and time didn’t feel like an indulgence, but a sacred necessity. There were, of course, calls to make, and affairs to finalize.
Today I am experiencing a bittersweet peace, recognizing the fading of Mom’s physical strength, and that the quality of her life had dimmed. I can accept that her suffering has finally found its rest.
I remind myself that self-care is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. It’s important to take the time and space to grieve, to process, to simply be. Every journey is unique, and every healing deserves respect and tenderness.
ReadingTry Audible Premium Plus and Get Up to Two Free Audiobooks
The Family Game — Catherine Steadman is one of my favorite authors. She is about the ONLY author I know of who can narrate her own book. That’s because she’s a professional actress too. Her narration skills are spellbinding. This book is really good and kept me intrigued until the end. There were a couple of plot twists that raised an eyebrow, but overall it is a very good book.
We made time for TV this month, and here are some favorites:
- For All Mankind (Apple TV+). We are watching the final season of this show and it’s been pretty good. A little farfetched at times, but overall entertaining.
- Monarch: Legacy of Monsters (Apple TV+). This is a pretty good show, for a Godzilla series. We kept commenting on how the actor playing the young version of Lee Shaw looked so much like Kurt Russell (who plays the older Lee Shaw), and then we discovered it was his son. It’s an entertaining series.
Here’s a review of my yummy Vegan Black Bean Brownies recipe. You feel a little better about eating brownies when there are healthy black beans involved.
I made these tonight and l have to say, these are phenomenal. It’s sort of miraculous that they can transform into such a tasty treat. Perfect amount of sweetness, perfect crunch on the top, perfect moistness. Not rubbery. I think these are better than most regular brownies I’ve had.
Recently On Namely Marly
Here are some of the recent posts published this last month:
Vegan Split Pea Soup
Vegan Beer Bread Recipe
Vegan Protein Powder Pancakes
Here’s a 7-day meal plan starting on Monday with savory meals during the week and breakfast/sweet treats on the weekend:
Monday: Day 1 — Easy Garlic Confit Angel Hair Pasta is comfort food in a bowl.
Tuesday Day 2 — These Fried Tofu Sandwiches are easy to make, loaded with plant-based protein, and perfect served with your favorite sauces.
Wednesday Day 3 — We regularly make this Vegan Split Pea Stew in the winter.
Thursday Day 4 — This Vegan Jackfruit Pot Roast may sound like a Sunday dinner meal, but it’s easy enough to make during the week and is real home-style cooking made plant-based.
Saturday Day 6
- Breakfast: Serve these Vegan Chocolate Waffles with your favorite maple syrup.
- Dinner: Make some Stir-fried Teriayki Tofu with all the veggies.
- Dessert: These Vegan Boxed Brownies keep dessert simple and delicious.
Sunday Day 7
- Breakfast: These Overnight Bounty Oats keep breakfast simple, healthy, and oh-so-tasty.
- Dinner: I love making this Vegan Taco Soup on the weekends and enjoying leftovers throughout the week.
- Dessert: Make one or two of these Vegan Cookies in a Mug — they’re ready in minutes!
Meal Plan Tips
- Substitute ingredients as needed.
- Store leftovers and serve for lunch or dinner the next day.
- Stay energized with healthy snacks like fruits, nuts, and veggies.
This was not goodbye, my dear reader. It was a pause, a moment to gather my ingredients, to find the recipe for moving forward. But rest assured, the kitchen light remains on, the oven warm, and the stories, like love and yeast, will rise again.
With love and flour-dusted hands,