She had driven herself to the hospital. This time it was undeniable. Things were changing quickly. She was sick. She was dying. She was slipping away, piece by piece, no matter how hard I tried to dismiss the reality.
As she lay in the hospital bed, tired but conversing with us, I pulled out my phone and said, “Mom, I need you to tell me your cake recipe. Right now. I need you to tell me all of it.”
She smiled and told me her top secret recipes. Making mention to each detail that made her baking so delicious and special. I don’t know how I had the courage or bravery to ask this question, but to this day, I am blessed by her answer and the ask.
She was young and I knew she had so much she’d be taking with her. I knew in my thirty-some years of living I didn’t know all of her secrets, all of her stories, all of her intricate details that made her, her. I had to start asking, time was slipping through our fingertips like sand. The harder we tried to keep hold, the quicker it passed through our grip.
If I would have waited to ask for her secret recipes, I wouldn’t know them today. They would have left this world with her, forgotten and unknown. But I was given the opportunity to ask, so I did. Even if it felt rushed and morbid and harsh.
To this day I cherish the screenshot of the recipe she gave me on that day. It reminds me of so many things. So many lessons learned from hardship and loss. So many lessons learned from saying goodbye to someone with so much left to give.
Ask for the recipes.
Inquire about the stories and history.
Request the special secrets.
Explore the past together.
Sift through the memories.
Share the experiences.
You’ll never regret it.
But if you don’t, you will.
Show up, ask, and listen. Your life will be blessed and better equipped because of it. I promise.
A thirty-something wife, mother and educator who has Indiana roots and a passionate spirit. Chelsea is a sappy romantic, coffee junkie, book collector, and person who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s sarcastic, full of jokes, full of tears, and enjoys writing most when life gets messy or complicated. In 2017, Chelsea's mother passed away. Through her grief journey, she decided to take her mother’s advice and share her writing with the world. One day she gained the courage to honor her mother's wishes and write. It turned out to be one of the best decisions she's ever made.