Postive Role Models have Life-Long Effects

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid
the trap of thinking you have something to lose.” 

Steve Jobs

We should all be so lucky to have positive role models orbiting our lives who help us progress as individuals.

My mother was mine.

She propped me up throughout my youth, adolescence, adulthood, marriage, parenthood- all without skipping a beat.

She helped bolster the way I approach life and its prism of challenges.

In retrospect, it was her indomitable quiet strength and display of personal perseverance through her 6-year cancer battle that continues to be my beacon, guiding me through my life.

Today would have been Mom’s 69th birthday.

I wish I had decades more to spend with her but, I feel very lucky that at least I got to eek out 37 years.

She was the most genuine role model and taught me not only how to live life to the fullest but, how to face death and die with dignity and grace.

My 6-year old son has only a small handful of memories of my mom (she was sick his entire life).  My 9-year old daughter has memories yet, they’re slowly getting fuzzy over time.

My Judy the Foodie has brought Mom back into our lives.  Her culinary legacy has created a new family bond to her and quite honestly, to each other.

While Mom’s recipes have undoubtedly provided me with a new direction in the kitchen, they’re also constant reminders of her love of cooking and of her zest for life, no matter which obstacles were before her.

In her final months, when I asked Mom what it was like living with cancer for so long, she always told me she felt as if she had one foot on a banana peel.

Yet, she proved to everyone, her other foot was always firmly planted on the ground.

Happy Birthday Mom…

Mom celebrating her 65th....


To honor Mom’s birthday, I spent my time in the kitchen appropriately baking her favorite dessert: Black Bottom Cupcakes.  This is my 4th attempt at creating the cream cheese-filled cocoa delights. I finally got it right!  The first three attempts were all botched in different ways but, with a lesson learned each time.

first batch of many botched baking attempts





Finally got it right!















  1. This is a beautiful post, Shari. I love this part especially:

    “My Judy the Foodie has brought Mom back into our lives. Her culinary legacy has created a new family bond to her and quite honestly, to each other.”

    Through this project, you are allowing your mother’s voice, wisdom, passions, and love to continue to be a very active, living part of your family’s life. What a gift – to your children, yourself, and your mom. Beautiful.

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