My Everyday Life: Week 47

Here’s what this past week looked like- My Everyday Life: Week 47


My Everyday Life: Week 47 on

When my dad and I came home after being at the hospital with my Mom in the ICU, I walked into my parent’s house and saw these flowers waiting there in the front entry.

They were for me.

My Mom was going to be giving them to me when she came over the next day for Thanksgiving.

All I could think of was how these could be the last flowers I ever received from my Mom.

They are the last flowers I will ever receive from my Mom. 

It’s all a blur right now and time has been doing weird things to us this week.

I am not sure what day it is. I am not sure what I’m supposed to do.

My brain was in Thanksgiving mode. I didn’t know my Mom was going to die this week. I have a 27 lb. turkey in my fridge with no purpose.

Just when I think I haven’t cried in a while, one of the many texts or comments from readers or friends will make me break down in tears.

This is so much. I don’t know where to even begin. Thank you.

The kindness, love, support, compassion, and prayers make me break down.

Mostly because I can’t tell my Mom about it.

She would have read every comment.

She would have loved it.

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When my Dad and I were waiting in the E.R. on Tuesday, the room was freezing so I gave him my vest.

I remember being paralyzed with thoughts while packing to go to the hospital. I changed my outfit three times.

What outfit do you wear that could be the outfit your mother sees you in last? I picked out a bright orange hoodie (her favorite color) and wore overalls because I wanted comfort. 

I brought a vest because when I wear it, it makes me feel hugged.

My Dad wore it for 5 hours before he noticed he was wearing it.

It made me smile.

“I’d better give you this back before I forget.”

Even when we weren’t huddled next to each other in the waiting room, I knew that when he was walking around or pacing he was being hugged by me.

My mom would have giggled. She would have also checked to see if I left anything in the pockets.

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Being in a hospital was surreal. We spent three days in and out of St. Mary’s in SF.

We had some of the most amazing and kind people we were working with.

My mom would have loved her team. But I know that in some way, my mom set them up for us.

My mom attracted goodness. My mom made amazing connections. We were all well taken care of.

I found this in the elevator at the hospital when I was going to get something from the car.

My mom would have laughed and then told me not to touch it.

I remember blowing up latex gloves in her kitchen with her after playing around with her blood pressure machine.

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Whenever she was around me, she was always trying to tell me to take a picture of something she saw.

“This is a picture!”

This was a picture. I wish my mom was next to me telling me about her childhood in San Francisco.

She would have offered some anecdotes to help me through. She would have made me laugh.

She would have locked her arm with mine and rested her head on my shoulders.

One day Cooper will be taller than me and I will know what that felt like to her.

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They gave me her garnet ring right after they resuscitated her for the second time in the E.R.

I believe it was her mother’s. They shared the same birthday. It was their birthstone.

I put it on and have been wearing it ever since.

My mom would have done the same.

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For two days we were in limbo. Our life revolved around hospital visits, phone calls, and food. We just waited for any news. We hung onto hope.


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Even though it’s my parents’ house, I always called it my mom’s house.

The house felt foreign without her bubbly personality. She would be so happy that we were all together, under one roof for Thanksgiving.

We kept conversations going. We all comforted each other.  My mom would have been proud of that. My mom would be happy to know that we gave each other our full attention. She would have loved to chime in at several points.

I keep seeing little signs of her. I know she’s going to be giving them to me for as long as I live.

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I basically stayed off of my phone the whole time. Little bits of information went out. Too much input and I was filled with too many emotions. Emotions that prevent me from doing things like walking, talking, and staying strong.

My Dad will have to create a new normal. 

And so, I put my energy into cleaning & organizing her house.

She would have been soooooooooo pissed and shooed me away while doing so.

I found my business cards all over the house. It felt like she planted them for me.

This quote kept popping up in my head. Putting my energy to good use was all I had. I learned that from her.

Right after she lost her battle.  I felt her warmth. The sun came out. It twinkled.

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She arrived in a brilliant sunset.

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And the clouds were super spectacular during our walks through the city as a family without her by our side.

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We’ve been eating our feelings. My appetite is all over the place.


Cooper has been extra-loving this week.

Last night he told me that he’s been holding his sadness in because if he doesn’t, he will collapse.

He doesn’t understand it. He doesn’t understand how this will change him.

It makes me feel so lucky that I had my grandparents for as long as I did.

He doesn’t understand how this will change me.

I do know that she is his Godmother and will protect him always.

She will just be doing it from above now.

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One day I will get a proper picture of this.

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On the way to dinner.

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Cooper was sending me pictures he made on the iPad to my email to make me laugh.

I can’t wait to tell you about the last email I received from my Mom.

If you think I’m silly, you should have met my Mom.


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The food I bought for Thanksgiving has been turning into other things this week.

I have so many potatoes I don’t even know what to do with and I still have to cook our turkey.

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I had just finished doing last-minute grocery shopping the morning I got the call to rush to the hospital.

I forgot that I left flowers in a bucket outside so I could arrange them before Thanksgiving.

Making this arrangement yesterday made me happy. My mom loved flowers and this past year I really started appreciating yellow, orange, and reds in a way I never had before.

I always think of my mom when I see the colors of Autumn.

Those colors mean even more to me now.

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Another walk with my family after lunch.

We stopped walking as a family when it was harder for my mom to walk.

She had been having a very difficult time with her back in recent months.

Walking helps. Walking brings us comfort.

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On Sunday we drove up to Yountville and took Cooper out to lunch at Ad Hoc.

We had chicken fried steak.

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And these pork chili nachos.

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Followed by a pumpkin dessert.

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Before it all happened, I started getting signs. I had a dream last week that she died and I went to call her on the phone but she didn’t answer.  It really hurt my heart.

She called me twice this week. We had two amazing conversations. We didn’t rush each other off.

I am so grateful for that. I don’t know if she knew it was the end but I am so thankful I got to hear her voice.

The signs always come to me in Thrift stores. I kept seeing things

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This week, I launched my Etsy shop. I announced it on my Instagram.

I sent out a few prints and then everything happened. I’ll probably get back in the swing of it soon and will find great comfort in the shipping process. My brain likes to keep busy. Obviously.

I have a lot of work to do with my family in the next few weeks so posting will be a little spotty.

Thank you for your patience. I know you’ll understand.

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This week just reminds me that there’s still goodness in this world.

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There’s power in a home-cooked meal.

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Don’t be afraid to try new things.

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Don’t forget to stop and take a detour.

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Write everything down, before you forget.

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Look for the good. Look for the light. It will be there for you when you need it to be.

If you have your Mom around, think of all of the questions you want to ask her.

ASK HER. You’ll never know when you won’t be able to anymore.

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I love you, Mom. It pains me that you won’t get to see any more posts here. I know you loved the space I created online and I know you would be proud of the people who you’ve left me with. They’re good, just like you.

The doctor confirmed what I always knew… had an incredibly large heart.


Week 47 in 2016

Week 47 in 2015

Week 47 in 2014

Week 47 in 2013

Week 47 in 2012

Week 47 in 2011


  • Sarah

    Your love and admiration for your mom is so clear in your post, Tracy. She will always be a part of you. I am so sorry for your loss. Wishing you peace.

  • Hannah

    Hi Tracy – I’m so sorry for your loss. I’ve been a longtime follower of your blog and have always enjoyed your sense of humor and your writing. Your mother must have been an equally delightful person, because good people raise good people. This especially is a really beautiful post. After my dad died, I relied heavily of the words of others, since I was at such a loss for words of my own. Below is a quote from Dr. Zhivago (my dad’s favorite movie) to which I clung after his death. I hope that it may bring you some peace too.

    “And now listen carefully. You in others – this is your soul. This is what you are. This is what your consciousness has breathed and lived on and enjoyed throughout your life -your soul, your immortality, your life in others. And what now? You have always been in others and you will remain in others. And what does it matter to you if later on that is called your memory? This will be you – the you that enters the future and becomes a part of it.”

  • Elizabeth

    Tracy, I’m so sorry for your loss! Sending prayers and love your way.

  • Jamie

    I feel honored to be one of the readers who you allowed a window into your grief. Your honesty and vulnerability, especially during a time like this, are a true gift to yourself and the world. I’m so sorry for your loss, but so happy you had her. Peace and love to you and your family.

  • Michelle

    Tracy, I am so sorry for your loss. I have been reading your blog for more years than I can remember. It’s clear how amazing your mom was and I am sure she will continue to shine down for you. Sending you and your family much love.

  • Michelle

    This was a beautiful and touching tribute-thank you for sharing it with us!

  • Mary

    Tracy, I am so sorry for your loss. Your mom sounds phenomenal. Thinking of you and sending you and your family positive vibes.

  • Jemma

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I’m sitting here in tears and can feel how much love you emanate when you talk about your mum.

  • Carlie

    I rarely ever comment, but I needed you to know that these words are heartbreakingly beautiful. Despite the fact that I don’t even “know” you, and I’m on the complete opposite side of the country, I’m thankful for these words. I am so incredibly sorry about your mom and I wish you and your family the strength to continue her legacy.

  • Madeleine

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I’ve been following you for years, and I felt true sadness when I found out. This post made me cry. Hugs and light to you and your family!

  • Nicole

    Thank you for sharing your mom with us. I know what you mean about signs; everytime I hear a Phil Collins song randomly, or I see someone that looks like my mama, I’d like to think it’s her saying hello. Sending love and good thoughts to you and your family.

  • Jeni

    Tracy, I can’t even find the words to express how amazed I am at this post. I lost my mom unexpectedly before Thanksgiving 2 years ago and was barely able to get dressed afterward. You are such a beautiful reflection of your mom and I am so grateful that you have shared your experience despite the extreme sadness that I imagine you and your family are feeling right now. Looking for signs from my mom and appreciating them is something that has provided much comfort to myself and my family. Thinking of you all with love. XO

  • Lauren

    Hi Tracy, this post was beautiful. I lost my mom very suddenly almost two years ago. She was 63, I was 39. Yesterday was her birthday. I’m learning to take comfort in the memories and the SIGNS. Thank you for sharing…it helps others more than you know. ❤️

  • Rose Hattabaugh

    I really loved seeing your Mom on Instagram. She was, funny, wise and kind. Thank you for sharing your feeling and thoughts this week. My Dad has pancreatic cancer and I am inspired by the way you handled this tragic and sad time by honoring your Mom. I will carry this with me for the year ahead. I am thinking of you and your family. How lucky you have been to have such a wonderful Matriarch in your life. Stay well

  • Laura

    Heart is broken for you. Sending all my love.

  • Chrystie

    This was a beautiful tribute to your Mom and your relationship with her. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  • Sara

    Tracy – thank you for sharing this. My heart is so full and I feel like I know your mom. Thinking of you during this difficult time. Take your time, take care of yourself. Much love. – Sara

  • Kelley

    Thinking of you and your family Tracy. One day at a time❤️

  • Ani

    I am so sorry your loss, Tracy. I’m always making your moms Green Salad and will always remember her. Ani from Berlin, Germany.

  • Val

    Deep. Powerful and very profound. Tears are running down my face…. My heart aches for you and your family. I’m very sorry for your loss. She will always be with you. xoxo

  • Casey

    I don’t know you in real life, but I really wish I did. I wish I could give you a big, tearful hug and cook your family a meal.

    What you write is always quite wonderful, but this piece is especially so. I may only know you through your various social media posts, but your love and strength and humor have always shown through your pictures and prose. Please know that this Stranger in SoCal is sending her heart up to NorCal right now. <3

  • Kate Shumaker

    What a beautiful post. I cant imagine how painful this has been for you and your family- and I feel so grateful you were able to share your experience with us. I have so much love and admiration for you- sending you peace and light from a long-time friend ✨ (Planning to make your mom’s sour cream coffee cake today).

  • Kinsey Drake

    Tracy, what a beautiful, tender testament to your wonderful mom. This gripped me at the heartstrings and your love for the mothers shines above all else. Sending my love and strength to your family.

  • Deborah Smith

    I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute to your mom. I’ve read your blog for years & feel like I know your family from your wonderful writing and beautiful pictures.

  • Mia

    I am so sorry for your loss, Tracy. I’ve been reading your blog and following your Instagram for years and have always loved reading about and watching your relationship with your mom. When I saw your post that she was in the ER and then had passed, my heart hurt for you and your family. Even though I don’t know you personally, I felt that I understood and witnessed your beautiful connection with your mom. I have been thinking about you and am sending good thoughts your way.

  • Maria Costello

    Tracy, Sincere condolences for the loss of your mom. Know that loving thoughts are with you at this time of sadness.

  • Katie @ Live Half Full

    Tracy, I’m so sorry to hear. Your Mom is proud of your perspective and your ability to find the little things. It seems you have a big heart too!

    I lost my Mom on 12/4/10 and Thanksgiving weekend is always a bittersweet one for me. I wrote this post a few years ago and I hope it brings your peace. Hang in there!

  • Elizabeth Ditty

    Your mother left a beautiful legacy in you.

  • Lisa Bower

    This is beautiful and inspiring. My heart hurts for your loss even tho I’ve never met you…..may time and memories you hold dear, heal your pain

  • Natalie

    Beautiful. She’s obviously a big glowing bright part of you that will always be shining through. I’m sorry.

  • Lee

    My heart is broken for you. I’m so sorry. Sending hugs & prayers for you & your sweet family.

  • Amanda

    My heart hurts for you and your family. I’ve been following your blog for so long that I feel like you are part of my family and I wish I could come over and make you a big pot of Mac n’ cheese. Even in this difficult time you continue to be an inspiration with your words and images. Sending lots of hugs your way.

  • Julie

    So so sorry for your loss – my heart goes out to you and your family! thinking of you and sending love!

  • Jessica

    Tracy, I am so sorry for your loss. My husband lost his father very suddenly earlier this year, so we can relate to the shock you must be feeling. I’m glad you’re finding comfort. I’m glad you are continuing to look for the small, beautiful things all around you. I’m glad you are able to see the little signs she sends you, and I hope Cooper learns to do the same. This year has taught me so much about the fragility of life. How to cherish each moment, because we truly never know when it will be our last. I’m glad that you had those great conversations with your mom this week, before everything happened. I’m glad you have precious memories to hold onto. She sounds like an amazing woman, just like the one she raised. Sending you lots of love and comfort.

  • Emily

    Tracy, I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. When I read what was going on through your Instagram account on Thanksgiving, I felt just like I would if I’d learned about the same news from a close friend. Because that’s what you’ve become to me over the years, from reading your blog, to listening to the old podcast, to your always enjoyable Instagram photos. You are an inspiration, in life and the kitchen. Love to you and your family.

  • Christina C

    This is simply beautiful! Thank you for sharing you have an amazing way with words and telling such beautiful stories with your pictures. The love you have for your mom is a beautiful thing!

  • Carina

    Tracy this post about your mom was so beautiful I could visualise and feel every emotion as I read them. You were both so incredibly lucky to have eachother and to learn and grow from each others strengths and weaknesses. Cooper will always see a bit of your mom through you and her memory will always live on through everything you do. Thank you for sharing your emotions. Sending you all so much love through this hard time. Like you said, your brain likes to be kept busy but don’t forget to feel through it all. Slow down and grieve. <3

  • Anna

    Tracy, I’ve been following your blog for years and knew I was grateful for and adored everything you’ve shared over the years, but didn’t realize how much I had come to care about your lovely family until I saw your posts about your mom being in the ER and having passed, and now reading this post in sobbing tears. On Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, I had made your coconut blondie recipe as my dessert to bring to my family’s dinner. You’ve touched so many lives, great and small, in so many ways, and I am certain your mom’s love and brilliance has shone through in what you do and will continue to. Sending you, your dad, your brother, Casey, and Cooper so much love and strength and peace.

  • tanja vaillancourt

    I am so sorry for your loss. Sending you the same type of love you send your thousands of fans all the time. xxx

  • KIM

    I have been so busy catching up on your older blog posts….I have been
    late reading recent ones….It saddens my heart to hear of your loss….I
    am inspired so greatly that even through your tremendous grief…your warm glow light still finds it’s way into our lives….God bless your family
    during this heart changing times….

  • Michelle Corbo

    I am consumed in sorrow for you and your families loss. I didn’t realize how much I enjoy your blog and how you open up your life and creativity to strangers… I look forward to your posts everyday.

    My mom and I both follow you. My parents just left from a wonderful holiday..

    I wrote this with big fat ugly tears.. I’m so sorry, it’s just not fair.

    Take care of yourself.

  • Goldie

    I am so sorry for your loss. Your memories of this week are so beautifully written. Thank you for sharing them. Sending hugs and strength.

  • Kathy H

    I am so deeply sorry for your loss. Thank you for letting us get to know your Mom. She was a silly lady with such an infectious laugh. Being the one who is the self appointed care taker is hard, make sure you take the time to grieve and don’t hide it from others. Love and long hugs to you and to your Dad especially.

  • Sarah

    is it weird to say I love you to someone you follow on the internet?

    I don’t care.

    I love you, Tracy.

  • Michelle

    This is such a beautiful post. I’m inspired by all the beauty you see in the world. Your mom sounds like an amazing lady and I’m glad she’s no longer in pain. Thinking of you and your family as you process this loss…

  • Trish

    ❤️ oh. I am so, so sorry for your loss. I don’t know you, or your obviously beautiful mama, but I know this love. And no matter where she is, she’ll be watching over you and showing you she’s there ❤️

  • Lyn

    Hello Tracy,
    You are one of my favorite bloggers and I sat down to read your Thanksgiving recap, and am so sorry and surprised to hear about your Mom. Your post is so powerful and I wanted to tell you a few reasons why it is for me. I lost my Dad last June and we too spent lots of time in the hospital, and in the process also took care of one another like your family did. None of us expected to be there, but as you did we rose to the occasion. Your story also made me imagine when I die, leaving my three adult children and quite possibly my husband to pick up the pieces as you will do. It made me think that maybe all the tiny ways I show them love have actually touched them more than they show, and it’s comforting. So, even in your grief you are reaching out to others and giving of yourself. I bet your Mom is so proud of that in you. Thank you for doing what you do, and I will think of you as you take this journey. Lyn in Virginia

  • Jennie

    This is beautiful Tracy. Thinking of your family and your mom right now. Sending lots of love your way.

  • Rosie

    I’m so sorry Tracy xxxx

  • Jean

    Oh Tracy I am so sorry for you and your family. The way you’ve poured out your soul here is heart wrenchingly beautiful. I found your blog several years ago shortly after both of my parents passed within 3 months of each other and you have no idea how much you have helped me with the healing process. Your creative ability in finding the light in everything will serve you well in the days ahead. And the SIGNS…yes…they are always here as long as we stay open to finding them. Allow yourself all the time you need to feel like your feet are back on the ground.

  • Sarah

    Tracy, I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your raw self with us. Sending you love and light from the other side of the country.

  • Sue

    So sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers are for you and your family.

  • Juliet

    Tracy, I am so sorry for your loss. I’m constantly inspired by the way that you are able to find beauty in the most everyday things, and I was in tears as I read your post about the beauty that you were able to see in your mom during this tough time. She was so lucky to have you as a daughter, and I know that you will continue to find moments of her every day. We are all thinking of you and your family during this time.

  • Rachel

    Such a beautiful post and tribute to your mom! I’ve always loved when she showed up in your posts and watching how much fun you two had together. I’m so very sorry for your loss.

  • Ann Templeton Monin

    When my mother was diagnosed with cancer long ago on Christmas Eve, I asked God for guidance. He each gave my family members a role to play over the course of eight months before her passing. My duty was the caregiver after moving back home from living in Charlotte. It wasn’t the glamorous role by any means, but so greatful to have been by her side everyday. I kept a journal writing about the before, during and after days of mother’s illness. God was there each day through others, soft spoken words, dreams, and an angel appeared to send messages of hope and guidance just days before her passing. I ran up a mountain following her death and moved on to care for students, create a family and gradually make my way to the kitchen where I feel most of her presence daily. She loved to bake. And I too love to bake. Our mothers are with us in spirit wherever we go. She makes me who I am today and I’m forever greatful. ❤️

  • Jen

    My heart hurts for you and your family. It’s inspiring to see your steady, bright light shining even at a time like this. Thank you for sharing it with us. Shine on, brilliant Tracy.

  • Nicole G

    Your pictures, and words, and art work, and food and posts are beautiful & breathtaking. I’ve never experienced what you’re going through but I feel your pain. Please know that there are so many of us out here, that you’ve never met, that you have touched in such a meaningful way. And we’re all trying to send something back to you now.

  • Ronni

    Tracy, this is so tender and heartfelt. My heart aches for you and your family. I wondered if you’d post your everyday life today. You don’t owe us anything. But I’m honored that you felt comfortable enough to share here. Thank you for all the beauty and creativity that you put out into the world. You have no idea how many lives you touch.

  • Marla

    I have been lighting a guardian angel candle for you and your family with intention these days…take care and don’t forget to breathe ❤️

  • LBG

    Oh Tracy- so beautifully written. I had to smile between the tears when I saw the purple glove balloon. That was something from your mom for sure to help you to smile through your tears. love you guys

  • Paula

    Tracy this post is so beautiful and I am so sorry for your loss. I have followed your blog and instagram for almost 3 years now and though we have never met I feel like you are a dear friend. If I were there I would give you a big hug and make sure there was never-ending coffee, donuts and maybe some new pens to distract you from the heartache you are experiencing right now.

  • megan

    I am so very sorry for you and your family. Your beautifully written words are such testament to your strength and the legacy your mother has left for you. I will be thinking of you and sending you hugs. xoxo

  • Danielle

    I love following your posts. You seem so loving and carefree. I lost my Mom in September and my heart is breaking for you. I took a very similar picture of the sky the day after she passed. Hold tight to memories for comfort, lean on your friends and family for strength, and always remember how much she loved you. Xoxo

  • Lynette

    Tracy, I am so very sorry for your loss. May God wrap you and yours in His arms and give you comfort. I will be praying for you.


  • Cathy Pollak

    Beautiful tribute to your mom Tracy. So sorry for this difficult time. I feel like I know her. She would be proud. Thank you for sharing her beautiful soul.

  • Agustina

    I’m so sorry. I️ cried for you reading this. Sending so much love and prayers to you, your dad, cooper and all your family. Love, Agustina

  • Irene

    I am so sorry for your loss.

  • Diane

    Full of tears for you. My heart swells reading this. You carry her light and shine it all around and on others. Cooper, too. I feel so touched by what you share and it’s clear your mom instilled all of that in you – she was a beautiful soul.

  • Becca

    My heart is breaking for you. Sending you and your family lots of love and light. ❤️

  • Stasha

    Tracy, I’ve followed your site for ages. The recipes, photos, and humor never fail to make me smile, even when I don’t feel like it. This was such a wonderful and beautiful post. I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending lots of love and light your way.

  • Jacqui

    Oh Tracy, this was the most beautiful tribute I’ve ever read. Your love, & the knowledge of your mum’s love, was in every single word She sounds like an incredible lady who did a wonderful job of bringing up a loving & caring family; I adored how you wrote that because of your mother, you would know how to take care of your dad And I loved the beautiful page you drew filled with your mum’s qualities, personality & attributes. I’m so sorry for your loss
    Jacqui (who always reads but has never commented!)

  • joannabee

    Cooper “holding his sad” and that beautiful “memorial” page you created are breaking my heart. ❤ to you all.

  • joannabee

    Cooper “holding his sad in” and that beautiful “memorial” page you created are breaking my heart. ❤ to you all.

  • Caitlin

    This is so sad and shocking. I’m so truly sorry for your loss. What a beautiful post this was. Your snaps and stories about your mom were so fun. She seemed like such an awesome mom and you really had an inspiring relationship. Xoxo

  • Haley

    Hi Tracy, what a beautiful tribute to your mom. I cried as I read it! Thank you for allowing us a glimpse into who she was…I have been following you for years, and even from the way you have talked about her, or showed little clips of her in your stories, I have felt the strength of your relationship and what a beautiful soul she was. You have honored her well with these words.

  • Sara

    I am so so sorry for your loss of your beautiful mother. I’ve been thinking about you and your family from your first instagram post from the hospital. I lost my mom to cancer after she turned 60. I was 32 and 30 weeks pregnant with my first son. I’m now 35 and still miss her as much today as I did the day she left. Your post today took me back to that raw and unbelievably sad time. It also reminds me to try to see those little signs and to try to take comfort from them. I’m so inspired by your grace. This was a beautiful tribute to your mom.

  • Sarah

    Tracy, you’re an incredible human being. It’s obvious that you learned a lot about being incredible from your mother. Your ability to find and capture beauty in the world is second to none. You’re inspirational, creative, and endlessly uplifting. Even in what I can only imagine is the hardest of times, you’re posting the most beautiful words and images on this corner of the internet and encouraging me in a time of struggle. I don’t know you personally, but I’m ever so grateful for your presence and for your mother for giving you to all of us. All of my thoughts are with you and your family.

  • Andrea

    So sorry for you for the loss of your mom. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May the happy memories of your mom sustain you and may she have peace.

  • Nicole

    I just wanted to say (even tho I know it’s hard to hear right now) that even the pain of her loss is a gift. Because it means that her love was so GREAT, and you were so blessed to have an angel as a mother. We all love you Tracy, and I know your mom is nudging us all to tell you so.❤️

  • Pam

    I am so sorry for your loss. Your mother sounds like a wonderful woman. My deepest condolences to you, your Dad, your son and your husband. There are tears in my eyes from reading your beautiful post. My your Mom rest in peace, and may all who love her be comforted.

  • Mari

    so special……your mother would be proud. You are very gifted. This week will be long for you. My father died when I was 25, I’m 56 now. Seems so weird I haven’t seen him for that long….what they say about time heals wounds, is sorta correct. 1988, the day before Halloween— things you will always remember. hang in there, Tracy.

    take care,
    Mari from iowa!
    PS wish I lived closer I would help “tidy” your Moms house…I know we would be friends. 🙂

  • Courtney

    If you were near, I’d offer a hug. I know the ache that comes with the loss of family (for me, my older sister, much too young). It sounds like you will now carry your mother in your heart. Words that brought me comfort? afterwards – a quote I heard in a film – Rabbit Hole-

    Becca: Does it ever go away?

    Nat: No, I don’t think it does. Not for me, it hasn’t – has gone on for eleven years. But it changes though.

    Becca: How?

    Nat: I don’t know… the weight of it, I guess. At some point, it becomes bearable. It turns into something that you can crawl out from under and… carry around like a brick in your pocket. And you… you even forget it, for a while. But then you reach in for whatever reason and – there it is. Oh right, that. Which could be awful – not all the time. It’s kinda…

    [deep breath]

    Nat: not that you’d like it exactly, but it’s what you’ve got instead of your son. So, you carry it around. And uh… it doesn’t go away. Which is…

    Becca: Which is what?

    Nat: Fine, actually.

  • Rachel Taylor

    Social media is a funny thing. We get these incredibly close glimpses into people’s lives and we feel like we know them personally. When I saw your news on Instagram, I was so incredibly sad because it truly feels as if my friend’s mom died.

    You have an incredible way of bringing us all into your life, and we’re all rooting for you and your family. Sending a huge hug.

  • Amy

    Tracy, I am so sorry for your family’s loss. Your Mum sounds like she was an amazing lady, and I am sure she will be watching over you all and sending you signs of love whenever you need them most. May peace and comfort find you all during this time.

  • Reannon

    My heart goes out to you Tracey. I’m sending love & strength.
    I’ve been off Instagram this week so had no idea what had been going on for you & your family. I had noticed that there weren’t the usual posts from you but figured you were busy with thanksgiving. Im so sad for you & your family. This is what my mother in law told me after my sister died “ grief is like a back pack you will always carry around. Some days is so heavy you can’t breathe. Other days it’s light & you move freely “ In the almost 9 years she’s been gone I can say it is absolutely the truth.
    Big love during this hard time x

  • Gem

    I’m so very sorry; I know the loss of a parent and it’s just horrible. I know you know this but it will get easier. The sudden shock is hideous.

    I’ve enjoyed your blog for years and you have always spoken so warmly of your family; your mum really sounds so wonderful and it just isn’t fair. All my love to you. x

  • Jessica

    Tracy, we all love you so much. I’m so, so sorry for your loss. Keep being kind to yourself in this incredibly tough time (and you don’t have to make that turkey, unless you want to!). Sending you so many hugs from afar.

  • Josephine

    I’m about to say what a lot of others have said, but I feel the need to add my voice here…

    I wasn’t expecting you to post your regular weekly recap, but this post is so beautiful, so coherent, and I’m in awe of you having the wherewithal to do so.

    I have been reading your blog regularly for at least 6 years, and while I realise it’s unlikely we’ll ever meet (I live in Australia), I feel like checking in with your blog is like checking in with a good friend (we’re the same age, and have similar interests)! I’ve been thinking of your and your family since you posted about your mother late last week, and it may sound crazy, I wish so much I could be a practical help!

    I wish strength for you, your dad and your brothers (as well as the extended family) as you navigate the next bit of life.

    Thanks for the goodness you share here, the impact of which reaches further than you may ever know.

  • Yamila

    Beautiful words beautiful memories you are so strong and I loved reading this and it made me cry. thanks for reminding me how important a mother is she will always be your mother and she will be there for you when you need her.

  • Laura

    I’m amazed how well you are able to put into words your love for your mom. At such a sudden loss it can be so confusing and difficult to understand how you feel. I wish I had known your mom … she sounds like one amazing woman. Thank you for sharing a piece of her here. Praying for you and your family.

  • Maria

    Beautiful post, thank you for sharing your mom with us. Sending you and your family strength, comfort, and love. You are in my thoughts! xo

  • meag

    so deeply sorry for your loss. sending you lots of positive energy. your mother was very lucky to have you, and this post / everything you do honors her spirit.

  • Megan

    I’m so sorry, this week you were expecting family and happiness and you were met with loss and heartache. Thank you for sharing what you do with so many strangers, making a community for maybe the likeminded., those hurting, maybe those needing a friend. You have helped me through many hard weeks and I can never repay you for your generosity. Your mother was obviously a fun vibrant lady and I’m so very sorry for you and your family. May her memory live in you forever.

  • Christa

    I am very sorry for your loss, Tracy. This is an incredible tribute – so well-written and tender. What a legacy your mom has left in you. Sending a lot of love from sunny Los Angeles xo

  • Leslie

    Thank you for sharing with us, Tracy. I think I missed bits and pieces of what happened. So, so, sorry to hear about your mother. She seems like such a vibrant woman. I know you will cherish all the wonderful memories you have made with her.

  • Johanna Bishop

    Welcome to the Dirty Kleenex Club, We’re sorry you’re here.

    My mom died two years ago, and when I saw your tweet saying, “The hardest week of my life”, I immediately knew that your Mom died. Because that’s what happens when you lose your mom. It’s life changing in the most terrible ways, and even the simple things become too hard to understand.

    I’m sorry you’re hurting, I’m sorry you can’t call your Mom, and I’m sorry you have to face this life experience so young. Hold your family tight.

  • Denise Ruggeri

    Dear Tracy

    When your Dad called me yesterday I cried and cried. Your Mom was my best friend in kindergarten and throughout our years our lives would intertwine. We didn’t go to the same high school but took the bus together, scheming about boys. I saw her every year for our grammar school girl lunch. I always asked her to make her special dark chocolate cake and she always did. She will be missed forever in the hearts of everyone who knew her. I hope that you and your family find solace in memories of happier times.

  • Amy E Caputa

    I’m so sorry, Tracy.

  • Catherine

    I’m so sorry for your loss Tracy. Thank you for sharing this journey with your internet friends, your words are a beautiful tribute to her. Grief is a long winding journey, so please be kind and compassionate to yourself as you navigate through. Sending strength and love to you and your family.

  • Laura

    Tracy, So very sorry you had to say goodbye so soon to your precious mama. May you know how very loved you are and may you hold onto your mothers legacy. You love so well.

  • Marisa

    What a lovely tribute to your mother! You have the amazing ability to see beauty and notice details amidst unimaginable pain. Much love and peace to your family.

    P.S. I made your Pecan Topped Sweet Potatoes for Thanksgiving for the 2nd year in a row.

  • Sara

    You are so gifted with your words! I bet your mom was over the moon proud to call you her daughter. Prayers for you, your dad, husband and son. Hugs!

  • Iris

    I am so sorry for your loss, you have made me reevaluate my life. In the sense that we never know how long we have with our loved ones and how I should make more time for the people I value in my life. Thank you for your lovely post, it was very heartfelt and while I don’t know you or your family, I remember your mom in your posts and she always made me laugh. Take comfort in the fact that you now have a new angel looking over your shoulder.

  • Jane M

    What a lovely and moving post. I hope we can give you comfort online in your time of need. The picture of your dad made me well up in tears. You are in my thoughts.

  • Leslie

    My thoughts and prayers and love are with you.

  • Ann

    Hi Tracy,
    Annhomebaker wrote the Ann Templeton Monin comment above. We connect through your Instagram stories and I wanted to connect the dots. God bless you during this trying time. You’re a strong woman and so inspiring to us all. It’s my birthday and I spent time down memory lane of loving thoughts of my mother. Our mothers are such true gifts to us all. ❤️❤️ They are always with us in spirit.


    I share these words of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross : “The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to be.” These are difficult words to accept right now, but they will help in time. My deepest and heartfelt sympathy to you and your family. I believe that your Mother will always be nearby for you, be open to the possibilities.

  • Ellen W

    Your love for your family has always come through your blog. I am sorry for your loss and pray for peace for your family.

  • Sandra Hemsher

    I feel so bad for you. My mom passed away April 16, 1985. I still feel the stab of pain that went through my heart and knowing the person who loved me the most was gone forever. I was 35. I am now 68 and I still find myself wanting to share with her, do things with her and I get through and take comfort in knowing we will be reunited. I have since lost my Dad and husband. They are all watching over me. God bless you and your mom will railways be with you……

  • Christine Lu

    I cried as I read this. Thank you for sharing your mom and your grief. She must be so proud of you. I’m so sorry for the loss and for the hurt you all have to go through. I hope you see and feel your mom everywhere, and that it will bring you comfort.

  • Amy U

    What a beautiful post and tribute to your mom. She was very proud of you and the amazing woman that you are. You have been in my thoughts and prayers this week. You have a strong family support system, take the time to mourn, take the time to breath, take the time to celebrate your precious memories. Thanks for sharing yourself with all of us! You are LOVED!

  • Karin

    That you were able to find and share the beauty in a week filled with so filled with pain is remarkable. Your mother clearly was a force of light and love in the world and as much as you’re your own person, you’re also a reflector of that light and love, and so is your son. You have a gift. You are a gift. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  • Kim

    I always got a kick out of your posts and Instas that featured your mom. She was clearly a warm, funny, beautiful woman. I know the healing will take some time but I hope you know you have an entire ARMY of us behind you, supporting you, loving you, and honoring your mom. She will not be forgotten and we will remember her through you.

  • Hina

    Tracy, I am so sorry for your loss. I have been following your blog for a couple of years now and look forward to your posts. You are so many wonderful things besides creative, funny, artistic and I am sure your mom was so proud to have you as a daughter. This was a beautiful post about her. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Michelle

    Tracy, I’m so sorry for your loss and am sending warmth and comfort to you and your family.

  • cate

    I’m so sorry for your loss, your Mom sounded like an amazing woman

  • cate

    I’m so sorry for your loss, your Mom sounded like an amazing woman xxx

  • Hilary

    What a beautiful tribute to your Mom, Tracy. It sounds like she was a pretty amazing woman and her spirit will live on within you.

    I lost my Dad suddenly. Here one day, gone the next. It’s been 7 years and reading your post brought up so many of those memories and how it feels like time stops and you’re unsure of what’s next.

    Thinking of you and your family as you adjust to this new normal. <3 And know you have so many people wishing you well!

  • DessertForTwo

    Oh, Tracy. I am so very sorry for your loss. I’m sending love and comfort to your family for always.
    I’ve always loved when you talked about your mom or posted videos on IG, because I just think you are the coolest girl ever, and I know you got the cool from your mom 🙂 It sounds like you got her silliness & sweetness, too. You’re an amazing woman, raised by an amazing woman. Love you, girl. Take care of yourself. <3


  • Megan

    Oh Tracy, I had a good cry reading this beautiful post for your mother. I’m so sad to hear she passed. I read a wonderful quote the other day:
    “Nature is wasteful, that’s why there are so many pine needles on the forest floor. Mother Nature starts more projects than she can finish”.

    You and your family are in my thoughts.

  • andrea

    friend, this is so brave, so honest, so real, so beautiful. I don’t think I could have done it. but this is what I love about you– your ability to be so real and honest in the moment, to see the beautiful in the moment, even in the midst of profound grief and pain. your mom would have been so, so proud. xo

  • Kim

    Tracy, I am so sorry for your loss. I loved reading how you are noticing little details and doing the precise things that your mom would have loved to hear about you doing. What a beautiful tribute and amazing capture of a supremely challenging moment for your family.

  • bonnie

    Scrolling through these comments, it’s clear how well you are loved and much you have given to all of us. I hope you feel all the love coming back to you. I’ve always loved the glimpses of your mom and dad in your posts. I’m so glad she is shining in your heart now to warm you. And glad your dad has you to take good care of his heart. Hold your loved ones close to you. Your words are treasures. XO

  • J

    I am so so sorry for your loss! My heart breaks for you as I read this! Take each day one at a time and hug your loved ones even more! I’m sending prayers to you and your family.

  • Diane

    I’m so, so sorry your Tracy. Your posts these last few days have stopped me in my tracks and moved me to tears. Thank you for sharing your words and photos, especially now, as you move through your grief. You really do help us all remember to see the beauty in our lives. Try to take care of yourself right now, Sending you and your family love and light.

  • Leigh

    I, too, sit here with tears running down my face, blown away by your heartfelt and honest words that convey exactly how surreal it can be to lose a parent. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss — but I celebrate the fact that your mom is a huge part of you. How lucky! Watch for her signs, celebrate her life, and love her every day. Sending love and healing thoughts to you and your family.

  • Kimberly

    Oh Tracy, my heart hurts for your family’s unexpected loss. I’ve followed your blog for more years than I can count, and any mention of your mom always made me smile. Sending love and good thoughts to your family during this difficult time.

  • Ashley

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your mom. It sounds like you two had a lot in common. One of the reasons I love your photography and posts is because of the way you capture beauty in the every day. It’s inspiring and has helped me to do the same, just as your mom inspired you, it seems. I had been thinking of you Thanksgiving week because I used two recipes from your website at Thanksgiving-DIY Ginger Brew and Pecan Sweet Potatoes. So I was so saddened to hear about your family’s difficult and heartbreaking week. May your joyful memories of her light the way for the days ahead. Sending prayers of strength and love to you.

  • Elizabeth

    That was beautiful, thank you for sharing. Long time reader but I don’t think I’ve ever posted. Your mom sounds like a wonderful woman who was so proud of you… wishing your family comfort during this challenging time.

  • Jenna

    Such beautiful words to honour your mum, she must be so, so proud looking down on you all. Sending good thoughts to you in this most difficult of times including a special one to Cooper – my grandma (nana) died when I was 13 and it was the hardest heartbreak. I still think about her all the time. Recently my 3 year old daughter was telling me about her imaginary friend Alice – my nana’s name! Made me smile, even though the realist/ skeptic in me knows she probably just heard the name on TV or in a book.

  • Diana

    I’m so very sorry, Tracy.

  • Colleen

    Thank you for being so brave to share your pain. You have brought so much comfort and joy to your readers so I hope we can do the same for you now. Best wishes to you and your family during this difficult time.

  • Becky

    Tracy, I am so very sorry for your loss. I’ve followed you for years (even met you once at the Sunset celebration when maj Joy was presenting). I love your sunny disposition, creativity, vulnerability, and wit. I am praying and hoping your soul will find some space of rest even in the tumultuous waves of grief. May you continue to notice the beauty all around you. Most of all, may you and your family find hope and solace in one another during this especially difficult time. Love.

  • Christina

    What a beautiful post. Thank you for the reminder to ask my momma all the questions while I still have her in my life. You and my family are in my thoughts.

  • jlhpisces

    I’m so sorry for your loss. May you all find comfort and peace in each little sign that she’s still in your hearts.

  • Jessica Craig

    This is far and away the most beautiful thing you have ever written. And I wish you had never had to write it.

    I love you, T ❤️

  • Averie Sunshine

    I am so sorry Tracy. From the moment I read your Facebook post, I started praying for your mom. I was in Mexico for Thanksgiving week and I read it while I was walking along the ocean and I said prayers for your mom and continued to think of you, your mom, and your son for the past few days…a ton. This is such a beautiful post and your mom would have loved it.

  • Elinore

    Tracy, your mum loved so well. You can tell by the way you view the world, by the many many people taking the time to send you love, and especially the way you are loving your son. You are so brave and so loved and I am so sorry you have to go through this!

  • Anna

    I remember a photo you posted of your Mum’s hands a long time ago and I just thought it was so beautiful. I’m so sorry for your loss but it was so obvious that you appreciated her and she would have known that. Take care of yourself during this time

  • Sina

    Dear Tracy, I am so sorry! And I am in awe and incredibly touched by the way you describe this week. The picture of the flower arrangement your mom had prepared for you holds it all – the beauty, the connection, the love, the loss and the gratitude. Please take care of yourself, one step at a time.

  • Christine Goyette

    Oh Tracy, Such beautiful words for your mom. I am so sorry for you and your family’s loss. She sounds like a very special woman. Keep seeing/feeling the signs she sends to you. She will be with you every step of the way. Hug your dad close. Hug yourself. Thank you for sharing.

  • Rebeca

    I’m so, so sorry, Tracy. I’m not on Instagram and I never imagined I’d be reading this when I clicked on the email this morning. It is such a beautiful tribute to your mom that I read it twice, with tears running down my face just imagining your pain. Your love and admiration for her was obvious every time you mentioned her, and it’s always made me think about how beautiful your relationship is. She’ll be with you forever, feeling proud of you and watching over you.
    Without knowing this, I decided to make her lemon chicken, which is a favourite of ours, today. I’ll be thinking of you both while I make it.
    Much love to you and yours, Tracy. Take care of yourself xxx

  • Samantha

    So much love to you and your family.

  • Aeshna

    Thinking of you Tracy, and sending you lots of love through this most difficult of times.Your love and respect for your mother is so evident in your words, and I’m sure she knew and understood, and felt loved and appreciated. Her being lives on in you, and through you.

  • Alessandra

    oh Tracy….mi dispiace tantissimo…
    I’m following you since forever, you are an inspiration and I’m feeling your pain.
    I’ve felt it with my dad, more than 10 years ago, but they never stop to feel like…now.
    A very big hug from Italy, and a lot of light in those dark days.

  • Stephanie

    This is beautiful and has me tearing up on the train. I’m so sorry for your loss! Xoxo

  • mary

    Tracy, I’ve posted on your IG thread, but had to share how much I loved your word page about your mom at the end of this post. Wow. You are gifted at capturing people’s spirit / true essence, and it leaves an indelible mark on everyone around you….

  • Rachel

    I am sending love from our family to yours. We have all listened to you on the podcast and followed your blog for years. Your recipes are staples in our homes and the stories of your mom usually make us laugh and bring joy into our home. Thank you to both of you for sharing your lives with us, it means the world.

  • Angel Y.

    Tracy, this post was beautiful. I am sorry for your loss. I am thankful for you sharing these beautiful words as a reminder to us.

  • Sarah

    Tracy, I’ve always loved reading about your wonderful family, but especially the lovely antecdotes about your mother. I am so incredibly sorry for your family’s immeasurable loss. Your post is a loving & beautiful tribute to your mother. All my love and healing thoughts and prayers. Life can be so painful and so beautiful & I’m thankful you always guide us readers to the beauty. ❤️

  • Heidi

    Tracy, I am so sorry for your loss. I have been a faithful Shutterbean reader/follower for years, so it feels like this is happening to a close friend. The internet is a funny place, isn’t it? This post is such a beautiful tribute to your Mom. I lost my Mom a few years ago, and every now and then she sends me little signs and messages too. Sending love and light to you and your family.

  • Courtney

    I am so sorry for your loss, Tracy. It was always a delight to get glimpses of your family on your blog and when your mom joined you on Instagram stories it always made me smile. I’m sending love to you and yours.

  • Ruth

    Sending you big hugs. I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it all is right. Keep smiling, laughing, and remember that every day is a new day. Also, your mom sounds like she’d be the kind of person who would be whispering in your ear to keep going ESPECIALLY when things are rough. xoxo

  • linda mitchell

    sending love and light to you dear tracy and your family…always stay golden xo

  • tami

    tracy- so many warm thoughts to you and your family. what an incredible post and tribute to your mom. it’s clear from the outpouring here and on IG that you have the love of the entire internet holding you up. grief is a crazy shapeshifter and my wish for you is to have the strength to be vulnerable and lean on folks – near and far – as you move through the coming days. love to you <3

  • Rose

    I am so sorry for the loss of your mother – what an amazing relationship you had with her. Stay strong and know that your readers are sending you love and warm thoughts as you go through this difficult time.

  • Catherine

    Hi Tracy,

    I’ve been reading your blog a long time and I wanted you to know that when I was in college I listened to you on the Joy the Baker podcast every week and it was like my weekly time for mental rest. You and Joy always made me laugh and forget about my stresses and anxieties. It felt like you were my sisters.Thank you for creating this online space that has helped me in my times of need. I’ll be sending you love from my little corner of the internet!

  • Jenn I

    Oh Tracy. I’m so sorry. I know that it doesn’t help – words are so useless right now – but there are clearly a flood of people that are sending you love and internet hugs. This is one of the hardest things that will happen to you, and you need to remember to take care of yourself while you’re taking care of everyone else. Allow yourself to grieve, to think about those time when you’d call your mom (it was always at the end of my work day for me – our “going home time” phone call) and take a minute to miss her. It’ll happen randomly and when you think you’re fine. It’s so so hard. But you’ll get through. Hug Cooper and Casey and your dad, let them hug you. You’re loved, lady.

  • Darlene

    I’m so sorry. Sending love and light.

  • Karen

    This made me cry. I’ve never met you, but I’ve been following your blog for years, so I feel like I know you and your family. I’m sure I speak for many of your readers when I say that our hearts are heavy. Sending you and your family lots of love and light xoxo

  • Marchell Espe

    Dear Tracy,
    May all your sweet and fun memories remind you daily how much you were loved by your mom. Thank you for sharing so beautifully with words and photos. It does bring back all the happy times with my own mom. There were so many. I strive daily to be a great mom, just as she was for me. Hugs to you.

  • erica

    dear Tracy, I tried to explain to my husband yesterday what all these comments here are expressing: how you’ve created an amazing community through your stories and photos and how so many of us are sharing in your grief. It’s like an enormous circle of love around you holding you tight. We are here because you’ve opened up so much of your heart to us and it is our turn to reciprocate. Take good care, xo erica

  • Kayla

    Dear Tracy, as I read through your post I could feel my heart breaking along with yours. Tears traced down my face with every word. How blessed you were to have had such a loving and open relationship with your mother. It is clear with how you speak of her that she was your best friend. Praying for peace and comfort in your home this holiday season.

  • Erin

    I am so sorry to hear that your mother passed away. It sounds like she was an amazing woman! I will be thinking of you and your family during the difficult days ahead.

  • Judith

    I opened My Everyday Life as I always do, hoping to be lifted away for a few moments by your stunning photos, thoughtful insights, and occasional whimsy. Instead, I was so shocked and saddened to by the suddenness of your loss. I am honoured that you have shared your grief with us. Know that we are holding you in our hearts.

  • Tanja

    So sorry for your loss Tracy! Big hug!

  • Elizabeth

    Tracy, I’m so sorry for your loss. Your mom sounds so wonderful. I’m keeping you in my thoughts. Thanks for making this space so special!

  • Danielle

    Tracy, sending you and your family so much love and light at this painful time. I have followed you for years, and I always loved how your mom seemed like your biggest fan. Holding you all in my heart.

  • Kim Ferer

    You are amazingly strong and resilient to write so beautifully during your time of grief. You could not have described Bev better. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Love always.

  • Jamie

    You write with such beauty, grace and love – thank you for sharing your love for your momma here.

  • Briel K.

    Oh Tracy, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. Sending you and your family love during this difficult time.

  • Kate

    I just wanted to say I am so very sorry for your family’s loss. I cannot imagine what you are going through. Thank God for the signs and small comforts you’ve received. Know that the words and images you share here are a comfort and an inspiration to so many. *Virtual hugs*

  • Jane

    beautiful. sending so much love. I wish I was closer and could help somehow, but I’m not. so I give you this. as I read this post the song “twined & twisted” by valerie june was playing. I think having the song play while I read made me cry more than I already would have. the music, your writing, all so hauntingly beautiful. as I read your words I heard valerie’s words “but I still hear that whistle blow, saying you can get through it all” and I just feel like you should be listening to the song, not me. so much love, tracy.

  • Debra

    I lit a candle last night for You and your Mom. Thank you for being you and sharing everything that you share.

  • Amy

    I keep returning here to read your words because as your friend, I know how genuine, honest, and full of love they are. Your mom lives in on you — in your love for others, in your love for hosting others and making them feel loved, in your kindness, your sense of humor, your elegance, your sensitivity, your routines. I know she is proud of you. I can’t imagine the loss you are feeling and how this will shift your perspective. I do know that you will be soft, graceful, and able to spot the beauty, even in this profound sadness. You are loved. I am here. Your family is in my thoughts. Hugs to you and to sweet Cooper.

  • Cristina

    Tracy, May your mother’s memories of awesomeness keep your soul warm for eternity. My deepest sympathies and prayers for you and your family in this time of sorrow.

    – Cristina

  • Georgia

    Tracy, this is such a beautiful post. I’ve been following you for years and your mom always made me smile. So kind and fun, you could just tell. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. Sending you love.

  • Laura

    This was such a beautiful reflection on your mother – you are an artist, through and through. I’m so sorry to hear your sad news.

  • Whitney

    Tracy, I am so very sorry for your loss. Your mother’s spirit is felt in all that you express through your photos and artwork and recipes. You have been snd continue to be a source of inspiration to me and I wish you all the comfort and warmth during this difficult time. Your mom is so proud of you!

  • Jill

    Thank you for sharing, I am so sorry you lost your mom, I’ve read your blog for years and loved the glimpses of your fun mom through your online space. I am praying for you and your family as you walk the road of grief. May your mom’s love and God’s presence bring comfort and light all along the way.

  • Suzanne M

    Tracy – I’m so sorry for the heartbreaking loss of your mom. You don’t know me, but I feel like I know you and that you’re a friend. I wish that I could make you a meal or do something to help in some way.
    It is clear that your mom had a special way of seeing the beauty in life just like you do. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful tribute to your mom.

  • Ann

    I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful post. It made me cry. My heart goes out to you and your family at this time. I am a newer reader of your blog, but feel as close to you as I can (as creepy as that sounds). Take care of yourself. xo

  • Molly

    I don’t know what to say, except that I’m so, so sorry Tracy. You are amazing and brave. Thinking of you and your family. xox

  • Scarlett

    Oh, Tracy, I’m so sorry for your loss. This was such a beautiful post. It made me cry. Sending you and your family lots of love and light during this difficult time. ❤️

  • Lori

    I read this post yesterday, and you have been on my mind today. I am so, so sorry for your loss. Lifting up prayers for you and your family.

  • Laurie

    I am so sorry, there are few things in this world like the loss of your Momma.
    You & your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Megan

    Such a touching post and tribute to your mom…my deepest sympathy to you and your loved ones. I lost my mother in a painfully short battle to cancer 14 years ago as I was just preparing to take that scary leap and head off to college. I wasn’t aware at the time just how much it would hurt not to capture those last few months, days and commit them to memory…I had shut down, and withdrew myself from her and family and will never be able to get back those precious moments. Your words and images are such a poignant reminder to be present, live in the moment and create lasting memories. With heartfelt respect, Megan from IL

  • Sue

    I’m sorry to read about the loss of your mom. I came across these words after a great loss and found them comforting:

    There are no words.

    There is only love.

    And love never dies.

  • Kathy

    Hello Tracy

    So sorry for the loss of your mom. My heart hurts for you. Be gentle with yourself, your world has tilted. I send you a hug.


  • Suzonne

    I only know you through Joy, but that didn’t stop my heart from breaking for you when I heard the news. Loss is a surreal and uncontained beast, but also beautiful in its own poignant way. For even in death, you will always have her. As a friend once told me, “never forget that her blood runs through your veins as well.” How true those words have felt over time. Wishing you peace, healing, and ongoing beauty in the everyday.

  • Lisa

    Tracy, I am so sorry for your loss. I always enjoyed it when you gave your mom shout-outs on your blog, something about your comments reminded me of my mom … then I see on your page of writings about her that she was born just one day after my mom (my mom’s birthday is 01.03.46). Do you know the poem “Gone From My Sight” by Henry van Dyke? My mom shared it with me after her best friend died recently. I rudely want to edit it, but it does have some nice imagery and the lines, “Gone where? Gone from my sight. That is all.” really resonate with me. Your mom will always be with you and that love will always be real. Anyway, my heart goes out to you and your family. Your writing and photos are beautiful as always. Thank you for sharing here.

  • Sara

    Well this just made me sob. I know we don’t know one another in real life, but you feel like a friend to me and to so many in this space.

    I am just so, so sorry for your tremendous loss. I am praying light and love for you and your family.

  • Stephanie

    This post is so beautiful. My deepest, sincerest condolences to you and your family.

  • ACP

    I’ve been silently following your adventures for some time now and this post is truly heartbreaking… especially in contrast to your stories just the day before getting ready for your big thanksgiving meal. So reassuring you are able to see the sliver of good in this situation. Your mom would be proud, I’m sure. <3

  • Jamie

    Tracy, I am so very sorry for your loss. Sending prayers of comfort to you and your family. My condolences to you all.

  • Maura

    Tracy, what a beautiful and unexpected way to pay tribute to your mom. I’m in awe of your ability to not only post about her passing but show, via photos in your “everyday life” series, the depth of emotions and loss you are feeling right now. Your “everyday life” series has always been my favorite, but you really elevated it to “extraordinary life” this week by opening your heart and allowing us readers a peek into your family’s loss. My heart is with you. So sorry.

  • Meghan

    So so heartbroken for you. May you find solace in your family, creative expressions and memories of your mom. We really love you and the online community you’ve built. Take care of yourself <3

  • Hollu

    I have read your blog for years and it was so apparent that you are so close to your family- what a gift. Thank you so much for sharing about her, her life, her influence on you and also the beginning of this horrible grieving process. Thinking of you and sending prayers your way.

  • sarajane

    I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I’m holding you and your family in my heart.

  • Julie

    My heart is breaking for you and your family right now. I have read your blog for years and always admired the love you have for your family. The way you wrote about your mother was beautiful, and I think that the fact that we all got to “know” her a little bit through your blog was a gift. She seemed like such a vibrant, caring, and loving person. I will pray for you and your family that the peace which passes all man’s understanding will comfort you in this time.

  • Kristin

    This is such a sad, but beautiful post. I am so very sorry for your loss, so happy that you had such a wonderful relationship with your mother, and so fortunate that you share yourself with us. Sending you lots of love at this difficult time.

  • Kelty

    I’m so sorry that hear about your sweet Mama. She sounds like the most wonderful lady. Y’all must miss her terribly.

  • michele

    Tracy, I am so sorry that you lost your Mom. I can tell what an amazing woman she was, because she raised a really special woman! I follow your blog because you are open and honest, and always present in the moments of life, and that helps us readers relate to you because we are all so much the same. Keep doing what you are doing, connecting with others by being yourself, just as your Mom taught you. Hugs.

  • Kenzie

    Tracy, you’ve been in my thoughts all week and I just wanted to say how sorry I am to hear about your mom. Sending love and positive thoughts to you from down in the city <3

  • Jamie

    Tracy – Thank you for sharing. I have been following your blog for a few years and I admire and respect you. You are an inspiration. I have never been through what you’re going through – but I love that you are watching for signs and listening to them. Keep doing that! I’m sending good thoughts and well wishes to you and your family.

  • Carrie Blumert

    Wow. My heart is with you Tracy. I can’t imagine how you feel or what you are going through. Thank you so much for being brave and sharing your heart in this post. I think you will bring others who are grieving a little bit of comfort. I loved the word collage you did of your mom. Makes me want to do one of my mom :). Praying for you and thinking about you. Your blog and instagram has brought my life a lot of happiness. Thank you.

  • Rachel

    Sending you and your family my love. What a beautiful post. My heart goes out to you.

  • caitlin

    Tracy, I can’t believe this is your reality or what it must feel like. you are loved and admired by so many. our deepest, sincerest condolences during this time. we will always support you <3 our hearts and thoughts are with you and your family <3

  • Danielle

    I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. Your blog and Instagram have been such a comfort and joy to me and I only wish I could somehow reflect that feeling back to you right now. Sending you a digital ((hug)).

  • Christina

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. My dad is battling cancer right now and every morning when I wake up and gasp thinking of my family’s surreal situation, I’m now thinking of you, too. I hope your wake ups get easier soon.

  • Stacie Fontinell

    Oh Tracy,
    I am so sorry for you and your family’s loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you right now. We lost my mother in law 5 years ago and it is such a surreal experience. You wrote a beautiful tribute to her in this post. I am so glad you had such a wonderful relationship with your mom and are able to treasure it. Hugs, Stacie. (I have no idea where this font came from, but I like it and I can’t change it!)

  • Tina

    Tracy, I am so so sorry for you and your family. This post was so beautiful and you are so generous to share your memories of your mom with us. I hope it brings you comfort to know that her memory is going to be kept alive thought signs she sends down to you and each time one of us internet friends makes her lemon chicken.

  • sarah

    this was wonderful and heartfelt and very grounding. thank you for sharing her with us.

  • Nina

    Dear Tracy, I am so sorry for you and your family’s loss. Lots of love, Nina

  • Tricia

    What an amazing tribute you have payed to your mother. That was an exceptionally beautiful post. I hope you and your family are doing alright. I know what a painful time it is. Love and hugs, Tricia

  • Caitlin

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. Your essay beautifully (and painfully) captures exactly what it feels like to lose a parent. I lost my dad two years ago. Keep looking for the signs because she’ll keep sending them. You, your dad and Cooper are in my prayers. Take care.

  • LJ

    I’m deeply sorry for your loss. Sending you hugs and positive energy.

  • Karen

    Tracy, my heart is breaking for you right now. I know from experience no matter how old you are losing your mom is earth shattering. I hope peace comes soon to you and your family. Cooper is blessed to have had such a lovely and caring grandmother. Bless you.

  • Cyndi

    I am so very sorry for your loss. It’s been 17 years since I lost my mom and your post is so gut wrenching and then like a hug in your tribute. It’s a hard time, but her love and sweet spirit lives on through you. You are love and loved.

  • Elly

    This is SO beautiful. So beautiful. I have no other words.

  • Eva

    I am so sorry for your loss. Such a beautiful piece, I’m sure she would have loved it.

  • Megan

    Hi Tracy,
    I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you and this post since I read it last weekend. I’m sorry if that seems strange coming from a stranger, but you give us a lovely look into your life each week as readers and no more so than with this post about your mom. I am so sorry for your loss. Your mom sounds like a wonderful person and I know your memories of her will fill you with a mix of emotions from this day forward. I lost my dad very suddenly two years ago, and the hole that is left in your heart from losing a parent is never filled, and that is something you only understand when you lose a parent yourself. It’s a club I’m not happy to find myself in, but I have found that there are more moments and memories that make me smile now when I think of my dad than the moments that make me cry from missing him. I hope you are able to smile when you think of your mom, but also allow yourself to take the time to feel the grief of losing her and know that when grief comes back in waves, it is because she was so special to you. Take care.

  • Deirdre

    Tracy, I have been following you for slightly over a year now. I’m so sorry for your loss. Your mother sounds like she was extraordinary. Time will help and your family will find its new normal. Take care and remember that many people are thinking about you and your family and will be for sometime to come.

  • Taryn

    You are precious and in my prayers. We’re in the same little boat, gently paddling around on a lake that is too still….trying to figure out the new normal in missing our moms. It’s not mentioned too often, how something like this feels. But we paddle on my friend. Listening for their laughter and always guided by their love. Xo

  • Jennie

    What a beautiful tribute. I’m so very sorry!

  • Tara

    Your tribute to your mother brought me to tears, this is sooooo beautiful. I lost my mother a year ago, and have learned so much about grief and mourning. However, I’ve also learned so much about human compassion and strength of spirit. It’s a rough road, but there is beauty in the journey, and the signs our mom’s sprinkle our lives with take that beauty to the next level. Sending you all my love and warmth.

  • Lindsey

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Tracy. I lost my dad a couple of years ago, I know how it shakes your core. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Andi

    Tracy, I am so very sorry for the loss of your mother. I lost my mother October of last year. I truly feel for you. Sending love and hugs to you and your family.

  • Diane Beebe

    Ohhhhhhhhh I am so sorry for your loss…..I just became aware of this. Tears down my face while reading your beautiful words about your Mother. You are so lucky to have had the wonderful relationship you had with your Mom.

  • Dayna

    Your words brought me to tears, but I am so proud and inspired by your honesty, your strength and your truth. It is easy to fall into depression. But that does not seem like your mother and that does not seem like you, from what you have said about her on your blog over the years and on the old podcast. Your seeing happiness in all of her messages everywhere, the time she took with people, the way she raised you and your brothers, her humour and strength, is true and real. I am so so sorry for your loss. My sister and I have our thoughts with you. Remember to do stuff you love and that make you happy, and to self-care.
    – Dayna, from Toronto

  • Evelyn

    Hi Tracy,
    Just getting around to reading this post now. My heart is so with you and your family right now, even though we don’t *know* each other. My 62 year old mom passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at the beginning of August this summer from a brain aneurysm, and my husband, dad, sister and I have been taking life one day at a time. We have made the commitment to “lean in” to this grief and each other, and to link arms through these days. It’s hard, I can’t lie. And life is so different without our sweet, comedic-relief-slash-stronghold around. But we decided that grief will not crush us and win, despite its persistent knocking at our door.
    In the days to come, remember that you don’t have to justify how you feel or why you feel that way to anyone. It’s okay to let things go and to make space in your life to process the loss of your mom. It’s important to do.
    Thinking of you and your family. These are the raw, surreal, hallowed times in life that not everyone will experience, but those of us who do will be changed.

  • sarah

    So much love. So much love. So much love.

    I can feel her spirit shining through your words.

  • Alicia A

    Your mom will always be with you.

  • amanda

    Sending love and deepest sympathy to you on the loss of your beloved mother. When I lost my own mother, someone said to me, “Always remember, you can never lose your mother’s love.” That thought has given me great comfort.

  • Beth Brown

    I’m so sorry about the loss of your mother. I truly understand how you feel. As I read your descriptions of her, it reminded me of my mother. You will never be the same because of her and you will never be the same because of the loss of her. But, she, like my mother has left us a legacy to carry on and be that wonderful, loving mother to our children and grandchildren. Prayers for comfort for you!

  • Cassie


    I am so sorry for your loss. I am glad you are comforted by her memories. After I lost my Dad, I told my husband that for about two weeks I felt like that scene from Taladega nights where he goes “what do I do with my hands?” I just felt like everything was weird and off and took effort. I don’t know how else to explain it.

    But it gets easier.

    You will forever be changed by this, but it sounds like your mom was an amazing woman, and she created a lifetime of wonderful memories for you. You will get through this knowing she’s with you always.

    Again, I am so sorry!

  • Katie

    Tracy, I never comment on blogs, but want you to know that my heart is with you too. I lost my mom as well and was really touched by the words you chose to describe the experience. You are doing such justice to her beauty and character in your own work and life. As far as signs, I see them all the time. You just have to be open, which you clearly are.
    Always, Katie

  • Nilinka

    Dear Tracy,

    I am only 23 years old but I think I have been following you for few years now and you really inspired me in my passion for cooking and more specifically for my dream to visit America one day. See, I am from Mauritius, a small island in the indian ocean. I work in the hospitality sector and whenever I get guests from USA, I do think of your blog. I lost my dad 1 month ago. He was battling since 3 years and it has been hard for me. We were not that close but still, it hurt and hurts so much everyday. Going through his stuff has been such a difficult thing for me to do. I can imagine how you are feeling considering how close you were to her. I wish you a lot of courage and sending out a lot of love and compassion so that you also live with this harsh reality. I know you will not overcome this grief, I shall not, we cannot. We just have to live with it or through it.

    Nilinka xx

  • Katie

    This post brought me to tears. It is so full of wisdom and love. I don’t know you but have followed your blog for years, and I am a local marin girl too. Sending strength to you and your family.

  • Kris

    So sorry for your loss.

  • Lisa

    Sending some extra love your way today.

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