Friday, April 23, 2010

Do you have an aha moment?

Mutual of Omaha is the proud sponsor of life's aha moments. They are looking for people to submit their aha moments at:

What is an aha moment?
"A moment of clarity, the aha moment is a defining moment where you gain real wisdom - wisdom you can use to change your life." (

What is your aha moment?

I submited my aha moment to the website at:
To read my aha moment, see below.

Food is often said to be “the way to a man’s stomach,” but for me, Emily, food is a way to celebrate life. On January 23, 2006, my mother, Renee (56), lost her life to a long, hard-fought battle against breast cancer. In addition to being the life of the party, whose smile, laughter, and joy spread sunshine to all those she met, she was also a fabulous cook. During her lifetime, my mom created two cookbooks titled “Whip Me, Beat Me, Eat Me.” The origin of the books started in my mother's kitchen where she would cook dinner Monday through Thursday for our family. Every Sunday night, she would prepare a multiple course home cooked meal for the family, often leading to many guests, friends, and neighbors coming to share in the meal. She also looked at food as a way to share community, and spread comfort and joy to others.

With my mom gone, I've struggled like so many others to move on from losing a loved one. But, in the darkest hours, I found comfort in her food. After meeting so many others that have lost loved ones, and while cooking dinner one night for my husband, I realized that so many people have found comfort through food. The sense of smell, memories and feelings that come back bring up so many emotions, and I wanted to do something with that.

With that said, I decided to walk in my mother’s footsteps by creating a cookbook (but not just any cookbook). One that honors memories and recipes of lost loved ones. I decided that if this helped me, it had to have helped a lot more people and I wanted to hear their stories. I am in the process of putting together a book filled with stories and recipes from people all across the country and of every race, gender, culture and age. These recipes will then be turned into a cookbook titled, “A Blending of Bittersweet Memories.”

The book will highlight the recipes and stories of people that have lost loved ones, the lessons they’ve learned, and the food and recipes of those that have passed on. I created a web site for people to visit to share their recipes and stories(stories just need to be 500 words, with recipe directions). A portion from the proceeds from the book will benefit a breast cancer charity.

In my aha moment, cooking a recipe of my moms for my new husband, I decided to dedicate my life to my mother's memory and help people grieve through smell and food. I honestly hope to give them comfort, as this whole process has given me some.

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