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You either live or you die.

That’s what my father would shrug and say to the friends and family members who came to visit him during his final days in the hospital.  And in a way.  He was right.

In truth, we are all gambling with borrowed time whether we know it or not – even simply crossing the street is fraught with what ifs and maybes, no matter how many times we look both ways. But in a way that so few of us are given the opportunity to be, he was fully conscious of the chances he was taking.  Of just how fully he was putting his life in fate’s hands.

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You see, unbeknownst to us, my father was told two years ago that he had a mass on his liver, maybe cancer but maybe not.  And while some people might have done everything they could to skew destiny in one direction or another, he threw his hands up at the heavens and said, “Eh.  It’s up to you.”

He never followed up on it.  And the rest of us are left to wonder.

Why.

I will never really understand his motivations (or lack thereof), but from what I can gather he wanted to be fully present, to really live, during whatever time he had.  And he didn’t want that time to be adulterated by hospital stays, chemotherapy- and radiation-induced sickness, and whatever other measures we might have forced him to take that may or may not have saved his life.  Pretty much until the very end, when he was hopped up on so much morphine that he was no longer fully conscious, he kept saying that he “felt good”.  And so part of me believes that two years ago he made a decision to forge ahead as long as he didn’t feel sick and then seek treatment when he did, not realizing that there might not be options left for him when that time came.

My heart hurts to think about the burden that he bore for these two years.  For everything that might have been.  For how utterly devastated he must have felt when he realized that there was nothing anyone could do to save him.

And it breaks for every moment in my life that he is supposed to be there.  But isn’t.

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My father was a presence, for lack of a better word.

He was loud.  Gregarious. Funny in a Rodney Dangerfield kind of way.  And truly more himself than anyone I have ever met.

He was generous and kind.  He would do whatever he could to help anyone.  Give you the shirt off his back, the money out of his pocket, and then try to offer even more.

He loved my mother, my siblings and I with every ounce he had to give.

He would blast Frank Sinatra as he rode around in his Corvette, windows down and volume up.

He filled his life with things and people that he loved, and didn’t worry about the rest.

And I will miss him forever.

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I was acutely aware of time while my dad was in the hospital, namely how there was not enough of it, and so I didn’t leave his side for the larger part of two weeks.  Not to run, not to do experiments, and not to cook.

Until I went home the morning of the 25th to shower (bonus of being a medical student is that you live right across the street from the hospital) and felt a strong compulsion to make soup.  I had been eying this recipe for curried carrot soup in Vegetarian Times since the issue arrived and had bought the ingredients for it before this all happened, so I set to it, allowing myself to get lost in the chopping, stirring, blending.  All totally ordinary, everyday things.  Relics of normalcy in a time of absurdity.

That day my family and I sat around his bed eating soup out of old plastic takeout containers.  It wasn’t fancy or extravagant in any way, but in a sense, it was our last dinner party together.  He died later that day and it was almost as if he was waiting to be sure that we would be able to carry on without him.  That we wouldn’t lose each other in our grief.

Curried Carrot Soup with Roasted Pepitas
Serves 4, adapted from Vegetarian Times October 2012

Ingredient

  • 1 cup Texmati rice
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 20 oz grated carrots (about 8 cups)
  • 2 large leeks, light green and white parts thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 cup roasted pepitas

Instructions

  1. Combine the rice, water and salt in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil and stir once.  Cover with a tight fitting lid, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5-10 minutes longer.
  2. While rice is cooking, heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add carrots, leeks and baking soda.  Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until vegetables are tender and browned in spots.
  3. Stir in the curry powder and cook for 30 seconds.  Add 4 cups water and bring to a simmer.  Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender.  Stir rice into soup.  Season to taste with salt and more curry powder, if desired.  Serve sprinkled with pepitas.

This post is part of the DailyBuzz Food Tastemaker program with RiceSelect.  Although the original directive was to host a cultural dinner party featuring a variety of RiceSelect rice, this quickly became unfeasible for me given the events that ensued.  However, I think what this post shows is that dinner parties come in all shapes and sizes and that if the whole point of such a gathering is to get the people you care about together to eat good food, then that was achieved.

This post is brought to you by Rice Select.

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You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at http://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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170 Responses to Curried Carrot Soup with Roasted Pepitas

  1. grace says:

    my god, joanne, i’m so incredibly sorry. i’m thinking of and praying for you, sweet girl!

  2. Carolyn says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, Joanne. So sorry, your father sounds wonderful.

  3. london bakes says:

    I’ve been thinking about you and your family a lot over the last few weeks. I am so sorry for your loss; your father sounds like an amazing man. My thoughts are with you all.

  4. Love you and am so proud of you. Your dad would be so proud of you and happy that you are blogging again. Still thinking about you every day. I only wish I had gotten the chance to meet your dad.

  5. Katie says:

    This was a beautiful tribute to your dad.

  6. It sounds like he lived the life he wanted to… no matter how long (or short) it was. I’m so very sorry for your loss, Joanne. I know your father was very special to you and he always will be.

  7. Oh Joanne, I am so sorry for your loss. You must be heartbroken, but it’s so nice to see you back here, living your life as your father seems to have loved doing so much. I’m certainly thinking of you during this difficult time. xoxo.

  8. Blue says:

    Dear Joanne, I am so sorry for your loss. My sincere sympathy goes out to you and your family.
    Kind regards,
    Blue

  9. Simply Life says:

    Oh Joanne, I am so sorry for your loss. If there’s anything we can do, please let us know. Know that you have a support team thinking about you all over the world! Your dad sounds like such an amazing person.

  10. *HUG* I was thinking of you and your family, Joanne. Nice to see you back, if this is where you want to be. :)

  11. bellini says:

    Your dad sounds like a kind man, one who taught his children to follow their dreams and be who they are. He lived his life as he wanted to and he was well loved.

  12. Lynn says:

    My heart breaks for you, my friend, and just know that I have been thinking of you and your family, as I’m sure the rest of us have. What a wonderful family and daughter your father had. Truly amazing.

  13. Amna says:

    Really sorry for your loss Joanne. I lost my dad a few years ago too and also very suddenly. I wish you and your family all the very best. Take care. X

  14. brocstar says:

    Very sweet post. It’s hard to know what to say when something like this happens other than, “I’m so sorry,” which, somehow, doesn’t seem to be enough. Just know that I’ve been thinking of you.

  15. Tandy says:

    Your father was a very wise man Joanne – and what a lovely tribute post for him. May you carry his memories forever {hugs} With much love and sympathy to you and your family Tandy (PS not sure if you saw the tribute post but the link is on your facebook wall)

  16. Jenn says:

    Oh Joanne, you have me in tears this morning. What a beautiful post and tribute to your dad. He sounds like the kind of dad anyone would be blessed to have. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  17. Beth says:

    Joanne, I am so sorry for your loss. To have your father die at such a young age is terribly sad, and I can’t tell you how badly I feel for you. His loss must seem overwhelming to you because, of course, it is. Know that my thoughts and prayers will be with you in these devastating days. And stay close to the people who love you.
    Love, Beth

  18. MS3 says:

    Gosh, this made me get all teary. I’m so sorry, Joanne. You and your family are in my thoughts.

  19. Oh friend. Joanne, I am sorry for your father’s passing away. I can only imagine how hard it was to watch your father go but I know from your post that he also went with grace and full of life and joy just like he had wanted to live in his last 2 years without treatment. I respect his decision and yet like you said, I hate to think of the burden he had for so long. I am so glad you were able to make him a final dish before he left. I know he was a huge supporter of yours based on your posts and I know that was something you can treasure forever. This soup looks unbelievably amazing.

  20. elly says:

    Joanne, I’m so sorry. Wish I could give you real hugs instead of a bunch of virtual ones. Your dad sounded like an amazing person, and I know he was proud of your blog, so I’m sure you getting back to blogging would make him smile.

  21. I’ve been thinking of you every day since your last post, and am glad to hear your family was able to get together one last time..even in the worst circumstances. Your Dad sounds like an amazing man…one who had to go too soon. Take care of yourself friend! xx

  22. oh
    i do love how your father thought
    i would be the exact same way.
    in fact i am…
    ever since the doc said “you have bad arthritis in the knees”
    and then a friend said, with that set of instructions live life even more; use it or lose it.
    and you know, they are so right. why cry a pity party, move those legs even more, get em stronger
    your dad, me, you–life is just too damn short.
    may he rest in peace

  23. I’m so sorry Joanne. My sympathies to you and your family. Sending hugs. Just always remember how incredibly proud he was of you….which was most certainly reflected in your writings.

  24. I am so sorry to hear of your loss, Joanne. I’ve been thinking of you, your dad, and your family these past couple weeks. Your dad sounds like an incredible person, and no doubt, you have so many wonderful qualities thanks to him. Food has such an amazing way of bringing people together; I’m glad your family was able to share a special meal together one last time. Hang in there, my dear. We are all here for you, and know that your dad is looking down on you and is SO proud of you and your accomplishments. xoxo

  25. Amy says:

    *sob* I have thought about you every day…every time I’d see you pin something I knew you were just trying to fill a void, occupy some time, stay distracted. But that’s good. Distraction and time are pretty much the only thing that will help you heal. He was far too young to die, and you are far too young to lose your father. Death is always hardest on the living. And it all sucks. It just plain sucks. Love to your mother, your sister and brother…and you. Hold each other tightly.

  26. Joanne… I am so sorry… I thought about you a lot after you posted the news… Made your peanut butter ice cream and thought about you some more… Whether death comes with or without a warning, the pain isn’t any less. Keep your dad’s memories alive and he will live on. My condolences to your family, my friend.

  27. Shannon says:

    Your father sounds like a truly incredible man. My deepest sympathies to you and your family as you live with this loss. Thank you for sharing his memory with the world through your writing. –

    - Shannon @ moveeatcreate.wordpress.com

  28. Winnie says:

    Beautiful post, Joanne. Much love to you and your family.

  29. teresa says:

    i’ve been thinking a lot about you since we heard the news. i am so sorry joanne. what a beautiful legacy he left behind, he sounds like an amazing dad. know that we are all sending our love and prayers during such a difficult time.

  30. Joanne, I am so sorry for your loss. Your Father was right to let God take him when he was needed up there. I’m glad he lived the past two years without all the hospital treatments. I too belivee that God will take me when I am needed. Your right, you never know when your going to go, whether it is walking across the street, a piano dropping on your head or you fal into a pot hole. Keep your chin up. Your Father is looking down on you, and I knwo that he is very proud of you.

    Thank you for your beautiful post today.

  31. Amelia says:

    This made my cry into my coffee this morning and made my heart break a bit as I read about your obviously amazing father. I’ve never commented here before, but wanted to let you know your post touched me. I am so very sorry for your loss.

  32. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    Even though you are grieving you put things so beautifully. Your father sounded like an awesome man. His memories, laughter and love will never be forgotten. I’m so very sorry for your loss. Hugs, good thoughts and love are coming your way.

  33. Danielle says:

    I have been thinking about you for the past couple of weeks…and I will continue to keep your family in my thoughts.

  34. Shannon says:

    Joanne, your dad sounds like a wonderful man! He will always be alive in your families hearts, there with you just when you need him. I can’t imagine keeping that secret for two years, but it sounds like he was at peace with it. This soup sounds wonderful, and I’m glad you took a short break to shower and make this so you could share another family meal together. You and your family have been in my thoughts <3

  35. Pam says:

    Sending you love and hugs. I admire your father and the decision that he made. It is similar to what I think I would chose.

  36. Pierce says:

    Thank you for sharing such a personal and emotionally tough time. You will miss him forever. Losing my father in 2005, well, I will say I never thought I would be the same again. He is in your heart, in your memories and time will make it easier. What a beautiful tribute to him, Joanne. He would be proud.

  37. It’s good to have you back, Joanne. It sounds like your father was a wonderful role model and an act that we can all try to follow. I am sure your soup was made with such love that it filled the room with it, sending him off with comfort. It looks amazing.

  38. Johanna GGG says:

    A gorgeous post for your dad – I am sure he would be proud of you and I am sure he has left knowing that you will feed and nurture your family. So sorry to hear the sad news but it sounds as though your dad died the way he wanted to, albeit far far too early. Warm wishes to you and your family.

  39. Mary says:

    I smiled to see a post from you this morning in my newsfeed. I knew it would be sad, but I also knew that if you were in the kitchen again, it would be good for you. I have tears running down my face for your family’s grief this morning. I pray peace will find all of you.

  40. Aw hun, I’m sorry. I’ve been thinking about you constantly these weeks.

  41. Anonymous says:

    I’m so, so sorry for your loss.

  42. Joanne – I’m not really sure what to say other than the fact that I have been thinking of you a lot and that I can’t imagine what this is like. I am so sad for you and your family. All you can do is take one breath at a time and know that his life serves as a reminder for us all to have gratitute for the people we love and for each and an appreciation for each and every minute we are given. For that reminder, I give your dad many thanks. Though most of us didn’t know him – we will all remember him.

  43. Caren says:

    First off, thank you for sharing your grief, and I’m so sorry for your loss.

    I’ve been there. Twice. I know exactly what you mean when you describe those last few days. They will stay with you forever. Being there was your gift to him, and your gift to yourself. As our palliative care doctor said, it’s a labor of love to be there when a loved one passes. I’ll never forget that time…

    What I can’t relate too is the frustration you must feel about your father’s decision not to do anything about his mass. That was his choice, but the repercussions belonged to everyone else around him.

    It sounds like you found meaning in his decision and that’s all that matters. Don’t be angry about it. It’s a weight he never intended you to carry.

    Big hugs to you….

  44. This breaks my heart. As I said in a previous comment, I lost my father too. Stay strong, lady. Sending you tons of love and positive energy <3

  45. Your father sounds wonderful. I am so sorry for your loss.

  46. Oh, Joanne, I am so sorry for the pain you are feeling. Know that I am praying for you and hope that this soup brought you some sort of comfort. Cooking always does that for me. I’m thinking about you! xoxo

  47. oh joanne, i’ve been thinking about you & praying for your family since your last post. i am so, so sorry. it is so good that you were able to be there for those last weeks & days. irreplacable. i know your dad must be so proud! this was a beautiful tribute…made me cry at work…and i know you’ll continue to honor your dad through living, as parents always want their children to do.

  48. Priscilla says:

    Dear Joanne, I am so very sorry for your loss and thinking of you in this time of grief. I haven’t commented before, but I really wanted to tell you how glad I am that you’ve found the strength to return to your blog. I make at least one of your recipes weekly (definitely your chickpea and chard burritos) and I look forward to your posts. I love your tasty and HEALTHY recipes, and relate to all of your running stories. Take care of yourself and thank you for returning to your fans who care!

  49. missmarc says:

    Joanne,
    I am so sorry about your father’s passing. Your post resonated with me in a very deep way. He sounds like he lived live through and with his passions by his side, that he was a great man. I admire his bravery and courage through the past two years. I know you are hurting now but his presence will be with you, always, or that’s how I always see it. Thank you for the beautiful, heartwarming recipes and this lovely post for your father. I’m sure he would love it.

  50. MM says:

    I’ve been thinking about you a lot, Joanne. This is such a lovely and loving post. I’m sorry for your loss.

  51. marie says:

    I am so glad your whole family could be together during this time. I guess as a human being it is your dad’s right to live and die however he sees fit.

    My dad’s health is horrible and it seems he spends his whole life trying to survive. It’s definitely not the way I would want to spend my days, but he’s a fighter.

    I truly admire your father for doing things his way. And although sad, I thought this was such a beautiful, beautiful post.

  52. Alethea says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Your post made me tear up but also smile when I could read your love for him (and he for you). Even though I have never met you, I could picture the scene of everyone eating the soup together. Thoughts and prayers to your family.

  53. My heart breaks for you and your loss, but what a wonderful tribute to your Dad and the life he lived. A reminder for us all that tomorrow is promised to no one. We’re just a train ride away when you’re ready for an escape, in the meantime – xo

  54. Jenna says:

    Joanne, I’m so glad your father got that reassurance you guys would continue living after he passed. . . And I can’t believe that he lived with this secret burden for 2 years. I’m praying for you and your family, for comfort and joy amidst the grief.

  55. I am so sorry for your loss, Joanne. I wish I could say more to ease your pain, but I know from losing my dad in March, there’s nothing anyone can say or do…I will tell you that you will get through this, and you’ll be able to laugh again when you talk about your dad…xo

  56. Sending you a big virtual hug…this is such a heartfelt post and I can feel it from here. I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending thoughts and prayers out for you and your family, Joanne.

  57. Karen says:

    I’m sorry for your loss, Joanne. xoxo

  58. Hi Joanne. Our lives are more alike now. My dad felt something wrong and for over a year and a half, did nothing about it, until My mom saw a growth coming out of his neck and made him go to a Dr. By then, stage 4 cancer. From start to finish we had another 1.5 years, he died almost 15 years ago, when my oldest was 2, my youngest was 7 weeks old and he never met my daughter. You will always wonder – what if? What if they got treatment right away, what if I had another 10 years with him. My heart goes out to you. I still miss my dad as much today as the day he died, I don’t think you ever get over that. Hugs to you!

  59. Foodycat says:

    I am so sorry that he had to leave you – glad for him he had all his loved ones there. Take care, lovely woman!

  60. Megan says:

    Joanne, I am so, so sorry for your loss. I’m sure you have that wonderful memory, though, of spending those last moments with your dad and your whole family gathered around with bowls of this wonderful-looking soup. I can’t say anything that will make it better, I know, but I am here for you, and you are in my thoughts. This is a beautiful post. xoxo

  61. Pam says:

    I have been thinking of you so much. I am sorry for your loss and for your heart break. I think it is wonderful that you all shared one more family dinner with this beautiful and delicious looking soup. Sending love to you and your family sweet girl! xoxo

  62. Kelsey says:

    Joanne, this post is so beautiful and so real. You write about your father with such candor and love. I can tell he was one incredible human being.

    I am so sorry for your loss. I hurt for what you and your family are suffering through right now. I’ll be thinking of you and thanking God for every minute I have with my family here on this Earth.

  63. Joanne, I send you my condolences, and you’re in my thoughts as you go through this… Your father sounds like a wonderful man with a beautiful soul — full of life until the very end, and he is incredibly lucky that you are his daughter. <3

  64. That Girl says:

    Joanne – I am so sorry for your loss, although words can never convey the right meaning with that phrase. Please feel free to email me if you need anything – not physically, but someone to vent to, someone to read nonsensical thoughts that fly into your head, someone who knows how irrational this whole grieving period is.

  65. Corina says:

    I’m so sorry to read about your loss but what a beautiful tribute post to your father.

  66. My heart breaks for you, Joanne. My deepest sympathy to you and your family for the loss of your dear father, husband, friend.

  67. Debbie says:

    What a caring man your father was. From what you have written Joanne he spared you and your family two years of grief, anxiety and worry and lived this time exactly how he chose. We should all have so much courage. Much love to you and your family….

  68. Joanne, Your father sounds like an amazing man. I am so sorry for this great and sudden loss. This soup is surely going to become very special for you because I imagine that every time you make it, you will think about your Dad. That in itself is a really awesome memory for this dish.

  69. I admire your father’s choice. After seeing my own father go through crazy, painful treatments after he was diagnosed, and not have it have much of an effect, I have to say I don’t know if I’d choose to pursue an aggressive treatment if it meant my last months would be in the hospital. I can’t imagine how you’re feeling. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  70. I’m so sorry, Joanne. It sounds like your father was a very special man and you were lucky to have known him, been his daughter, and inherited some of his greatness :) I’m glad to see you back in the kitchen.

  71. I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s so clear you two loved each other so much and had a really incredible bond, and I can’t even imagine the hole you must feel in your heart now. Give yourself time, and be gentle with yourself–it’s so so hard. My heart aches for you and your family and your amazing dad. Thank you for sharing.

  72. Cheryl says:

    Joanne, sending you a big hug from California. My deepest condolences to you and your family.

  73. Roz P. says:

    OH my dear, this is such a beautiful post of love written for your father. It truly honors him! None of us have the answers to “Why” for so many situations that we go through. Only faith can help us get through. And I have faith that you will be with your father again someday. Your father is and will be with you in spirit! With everything that you said about him, I know that he is in the best possible place for any of us. Your soup is a perfect way to find some physical comfort. I will continue to pray for your healing,

    Roz

  74. Adrienne says:

    Joanne, I’ve been checking in here every day to see how you’re doing. If you need a friend, I’m around.

  75. Hotly Spiced says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of the outcome. That is so devastating for you and all in your family. How wonderful for your dad that you all rallied around and were able to spend those precious last days together. I love the sound of him driving around in his Corvette belting out Frank Sinatra. What a great image. Best wishes to you and your family in the coming weeks xx

  76. OohLookBel says:

    So glad to see you back after such a tragically difficult time for your family. You have a lovely way with words, especially about your father. PS: Love the soup pics =)

  77. Karine says:

    Very toughing post, Joanne. My sympathies for your family and you. Big hugs.

  78. Guru Uru says:

    My friend what else can I offer you but my condolences and my continual support. If you need anyone, anything or just even a small smile, we are all here for you. Welcome back but I wish it could be in a better way

    My love and hugs
    Uru

  79. Blond Duck says:

    I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.

  80. What a beautiful but very sad post. Your dad sounds like a wonderful man who obviously put his family first by not allowing you to carry his burden with him the past two years and just enjoy his company. I’m sure you’re having a very difficult time with your burden now though, and I’m thinking about you during this time.

  81. I am so sorry to hear about your families loss. I had wondered where you’ve been, but suspected from your last post it wasn’t good. I would give you a big hug if I could. He sounded like a lovely man and he passed on some of his traits to you.

  82. Lindsay Beyerstein says:

    Joanne, I’m so sorry about your father. You are a living tribute to his legacy. He must have been so proud of all you’ve achieved. If only he could have lived to see all that lies in store for you.

  83. Natalie says:

    what a beautiful tribute to what sounds like an absolutely incredible man! i have no doubt he is so proud of you! much love dear Joanne!

  84. oh Joanne, there are no words to console such a loss, but I am so happy for you that you were able to be there with him in the end and say goodbye. It’s good to have you back and know that you are surrounded by so much love. Much love and hugs to you!

  85. Lexi says:

    All my best to you Joanne. He lived his life the way he wanted to after the diagnosis. Glad you could be with him in the end.

  86. Deborah says:

    I have been wanting to comment for days, but I don’t have the words. I know there are really no words right now, but please know that you have been in my thoughts and my prayers. Your father sounds like a wonderful man, and I can only imagine how much he will be missed. Know that you have lots of friends out here thinking of you!!

  87. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, My heart and my prayers are with you and your family. Your memories and your love will carry you through your life. Your Dad will always be there with you in your heart. I know this to be true, my Dad passed away when I was sixteen and he is still with me today.
    Blessings and love, Catherine xox

  88. I was actually about to send you an email until I saw your post on my google reader. Joanne, I am so sorry for your loss. Your dad sounds like an amazing man. I’m here if you need anything, even if you need a box of freshly baked cookies sent your way.

  89. Frequent reader but never posted. I am so sorry for your loss, and this is a very sweet post about a very sweet man.

  90. Oh Joanne I am so incredibly sorry. Your dad sounds like such a wonderful man. He will definitely be watching over you and your amazing little corner of the internet.

  91. Paige says:

    I’m so deeply sorry for your loss. My mom died two years ago and it’s such a hard thing that no one should ever have to endure.
    I’m keeping you and your family in my prayers.
    xo
    Paige

  92. Saguna says:

    So much love for you right now, Joanne. I’ve missed you and have been thinking about you these past few weeks. Your father seems so admirable, so brave. I’m so sorry for your father’s passing. Take care and stay strong.

  93. Joanne I am sorry that this has been such a hard time for you. Your father sounds like he was a very amazing man. You did very much have a cultural dinner . I feel very sad and touched reading this story, but it was lovely .

  94. This is a very sweet post. I’m sorry about your dad and will keep you in my thoughts.

  95. Jeanette says:

    Joanne – so sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. He sounds like he was so full of life and a loving father and husband, and he lived his life the last two years to the fullest. So tough for you all, but it is so obvious he loved you and your family immensely. Thinking and praying for you and your family. xo Jeanette

  96. daphne says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss Joanne. I am glad there is a family moment together. Soups are always heart warming- but this is more than that. Condolences to you and your family. Take care

  97. Barbara says:

    Joanne..please accept my deepest condolences.
    And you mustn’t beat yourself up wondering why he didn’t share. It was because of all the reasons you listed: “he didn’t want that time to be adulterated by hospital stays, chemotherapy- and radiation-induced sickness”
    He wanted to spend his time with all of you and not put you through all of the above. He must have loved you all so very much.

  98. I’m so so sorry to hear about your dad. I’m sure he would be proud of you for making the most out of a horrible situation.

  99. Audra says:

    I am so deeply sorry for your loss Joanne. I am praying for you and your family, and sending you love and strength!

  100. SallyBR says:

    I had to stop at the “I will miss him forever” and at some point will come back to read the rest. Right now I am bawling at the realization that I do miss my Dad, nine years after he left us. The sharp pain goes away, but witnessing what you are going through brings it back. It’s ok, I think we all need to cry again, to get in touch with the big empty hole left by a very special man.

    a warm hug for you, good to see you back….

  101. lil deli says:

    That was a beautiful post. Weirdly, I’m thinking of you and I hope you’re ok. love Candice

  102. Erica says:

    I am so so sorry,Joanne! What a beautiful post….I always love your writing style, but this post really touched my heart…I am thinking about you and your family!

  103. Meghan says:

    I am so, so sorry for your loss and sending you prayers and healing vibes now and always. I lost my father almost 11 years ago, and it is something that has changed my life. I’d like to say it gets easier, but the grief just sort of changes over time. It will become less acute, and you will find yourself, years from now, smiling at a time where there were previously tears. Hold tight to those around you who want to comfort you.

    I hope you can take time for yourself especially now to feel all of those feelings that come up. It won’t be easy, but there are people out there thinking of you. I don’t know you outside of blogging, but if you ever feel like venting, feel free to email.
    I am certain your dad was incredibly proud of you and always will be.

  104. Nicole, RD says:

    Joanne, I am so sorry for your loss. Reading this post brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful man. *hugs*

  105. Faith says:

    Your strength is remarkable, Joanne. Hard to get through reading this post without weeping, but your courage shines through in every word. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. xo

  106. Jessie says:

    Joanne, my heart breaks for you. I can tell from this post and the ones previous that your father is so proud of you and will be always. You have definitely inherited his charm and zest for life. Much love from Illinois xx

  107. :’(

    I am so sorry Joanne…

    My grandmother had a lump too and she never told us, kept it to herself. we figured it out because she was all the time sick and took her to the doctor. a couple of months later she died. I wish I could have been with her at that time.

  108. Wow, Joanne. I just cried sitting at my desk… partly because I’m so sorry for your loss and partly because your writing is so beautiful and it’s so obvious what a force your dad was and will always be in your life.

    Thinking of you lots!

    Sues

  109. I am SO sorry and sad to read about your loss, Joanne. A big and warm hug to you.
    The soup looks soul warming and comforting.

  110. Cathleen says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Your father sounded like a great man.

  111. geni says:

    So very terribly sorry Joanne. Please, take good care of yourself and call your mother alot. My heart aches for you all. I always turn to cooking and comfort food in times like these and the soup was probably a nice way to soothe a smidge of the pain. Love, Geni

  112. Lora says:

    A beautiful and heartbreaking post Joanne. I am so sorry for your loss. So perfect and peaceful to have his family around him. You will never forget this recipe. Ever. Sending you a huge hug.

  113. Kari says:

    Oh, Joanne…what a beautiful post and such a beautiful tribute to your father, who sounds like an amazing man. To carry that secret for 2 years and persist in living life, well, it is a rare person who can do that. I have been thinking of you since your last post and am so sorry to hear this update rather than better news; you will remain in my thoughts and your family too. I hope you have plenty of people around you to make you soup like this if and when you want it xox

  114. What a beautiful soup to go along with such a beautiful post. My deepest condolences to you and your family. I cannot imagine what you must be going through. And I cannot imagine what a beautiful gift your father gave you – yes, he kept this secret from you, but to be able to spend the last two years with him being happy instead of worrying about doctors and medicines and watching him grow sicker by the day, wondering if this was “the day”. My heart goes out to you!

  115. Mari says:

    I am so sorry honey for your loss…If you need anything please don’t hesitate to call me. This post was so beautiful and you can feel the love that you have for your father with every word written. Find comfort in knowing that he is no longer in pain and he will always be with you. Sending you so much love and light…

  116. Been thinking of you and sending love. So sorry for your loss, but having experienced a very, very long drawn out illness with my mother in law, I can respect your dad’s choice to live and enjoy what he had. Big hug xo

  117. Eileen says:

    Oh, Joanne, I’m so sorry for your loss. If I were in town, I’d be bringing you big vats of soup and loaves of bread. Lots of hugs.

    • Claudia says:

      I am totally understanding your Dad’s decision, having seen relatives drag on for years, not really there at all, or undergoing the sickness of chemo, and its damage to the rest of their body. Still, all that doesn’t help the sadness of loss. You wrote such a loving memorial and testimony to his life.

  118. Ellen Lederman says:

    Will think of you and your family when I make this. Glad you are back. Sorry that you lost your dad so quickly, but glad he didn’t suffer longer—and that he got to chose how the rest of his life would play out. Your father sounds like a terrific guy who loved life (even though he chose not to go to great lengths to prolong it a bit—-nice to think that he was so satisfied with his life that he didn’t have to reach for a little more as so many people do because they are filled with regrets).

  119. Jenn Kendall says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss Joanne! Such a beautiful post and a beautiful soup.

  120. Christine says:

    Oh Joanne, I’m so very sorry to hear that your Dad has left. He sounds like a terrific man and father. My thoughts are with you and your family. Sending you a gigantic hug and hoping you heart hurts less as time passes. What a peaceful way to spend the last day with him, together with family, enjoying your soup.

  121. Ranjani says:

    So sorry for your loss Joanne. your writing is a wonderful way to share memories of your father. I am thinking of you

  122. Oh, friend. My heart jumped when I saw you had a new post and my eyes hurriedly scanned every sentence for news on how he was doing. I’m so sorry.

  123. Gloria says:

    Dear Joanne Im so sorry for your loss. never I think whentalked us will be so fast never.
    About you said your dad was anice and lovely man a wise man.
    My thoughts are with you dear what difficult say by to all we love. huggss!

  124. Tammy says:

    Hi Joanne,

    Your post brought me to tears. You are such a beautiful writer and I can feel the love and heartache in your words as I read them. I cannot image the devastation of losing a loved one this way, but it reminds me how important is it to cherish the time you are given when you have it. Sometimes, it feels like an eternity…and then one day it all changes…and in the end you wonder how, or like you said, why.

    I wished I could just give you a hug after all that you have been through. And though words could never possibly describe how sorry I am for your loss, just know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. I pray God gives you and your family peace and strength during this time.

    You made a beautiful meal for your family. There is nothing quite as comforting as soup.

    With all my love,
    Tammy

  125. You are soooo strong, Jo. Thank you for continuing to connect with us. I wish I was there to give you a long hard hug. We could eat goodies and gab and veg out together. Your recipe (as always) looks great girl….XOXO!!

  126. iscribbler says:

    All the words and sentiment I can think of would not equate to what it means to me and to the type of person you are that in this moment you take the time to think of others and to lift their spirits by leaving a word or two for them.

    Thank you for sharing this part of your father with us. May you gain strength through your memories.

  127. Rachel says:

    So good to have you back. You are clearly as strong as your father. From an outside perspective, I admire what he did with his last years, although I can see how it would be really, really tough for his family to find out about his secret.
    Keep writing about it!

  128. Katie says:

    You and your family are in my thoughts. I’m so sorry for your loss, but I’m glad you were able to spend some much time with your father and your family these last few weeks. Your father sounds like a fantastic man.

  129. Julie says:

    So good to hear from you, I’ve missed your posts. I am sorry for your loss!! Try to focus on the good times. You’re in my thoughts.

  130. From what you wrote and how you wrote it, it’s clear that you are your father’s daughter through and through…warm, brave, strong, and always, always taking care of the ones you hold dear. Love and prayers to you.

  131. Eliana says:

    Joanne – thank you so much for sharing with us during this difficult time for you and your family. You are all in my prayers.

  132. JasmyneTea says:

    I’m really sorry to hear about such a loss. I don’t know what I would do if I were in your shoes, but I really admire how you’ve decided to remember all the good times as well. He sounds amazing.

  133. Oh Joanne I have been thinking about you so much. I’ve had things to tell you, happy things, but didn’t want to interrupt your time of grief with something silly. (I don’t know if you’re ready for something happy, but I will email it to you anyway.) I’ve been wondering how your father was and how you were coping and I knew the end was near, but when I saw the picture on facebook and your farewell, I still wasn’t ready and I can’t imagine how you must feel. I know you could never have been ready either. My heart seriously breaks for you. I wish I could do something physically comforting for you but from where I am, I hope my sympathy is at least a little comfort, knowing that other hearts are grieving with you simply because we got to know him and his big personality through you. <3 I’m so glad his last meal was one you prepared. That would be a wonderful way to go. :)

  134. Katerina says:

    He will always be in your heart for sure and you will always see him in little things here and there! It is terrible to lose a parent at any age! I think he left relieved seeing his family united around him and strong enough to cope with the big loss. The soup looks perfect but the family gathering, I think, is what matters the most! Hang in there!

  135. So so sorry to hear about the loss. I can understand your fathers thinking.

  136. Tasha says:

    I’m struggling to find the words here, but I want to tell you how much you and your family are in my thoughts during this sad time.

  137. KXH CT says:

    Joanne,
    My heart goes out to you. I lost my father two years ago and it still hurts every single day.I moved from New Hampshire to Ohio to take care of him for the last two years of his life, and it is the best thing I ever did.Being able to spend that time with him was priceless. Like your father, my father had options. He knew he was diabetic, but chose to ignore it until his kidneys were destroyed. I will never understand that because he was a very intelligent man with a PhD.
    Anyway, I just want to tell you that your father lived his life the way he wanted, and it sounds like it was a great life with many people who loved him. You will always have the good memories and the knowledge that he loved you.
    It isn’t going to be easy for you, but go one day at a time, and accept the support of the people around you. They love you too.

  138. Chris says:

    We are still thinking of you and your family daily. You are so right about “borrowed time” for each of us. We need to remember that every day.

    Rodney Dangerfield, now I have a great visual of your dad with a booming voice and larger than life personality. I bet he always had a joke to tell.

  139. Kim says:

    Joanne – I am so sorry that you lost your father at such a young age. Your Dad will always be with you in all that you do. He is a part of you and nothing can take that away. I’m thinking of you and your family and hoping that everyone is hanging in there.

  140. Hannah says:

    This is the most beautiful, horrible, inspiring, heartbreaking post I’ve read yet. There are no words, but thank you for bearing your heart so nakedly for us all to see. You are an incredibly strong person to get through these difficult times with such grace.

  141. Reeni Pisano says:

    You are so strong and brave for sharing your Father’s story with us. So soon. I hope it is helping you make sense of it where there isn’t any. My heart is breaking for you and your entire family. Everything’s happened so fast. I’ve thought of you everyday since hearing the news and you were even in one of my dreams. I don’t remember much about it just that you were there talking to me. It seemed so real. *HUGS*

  142. Mary says:

    Joanne, I am so sorry that he’s gone. Thank you for sharing your father’s life and death with us. He must have been a wonderful man. I know he raised a great daughter who will always make him proud. I hope your mother is holding up under the terrible shock of this all. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Hugs and blessings…Mary

  143. Lori says:

    You are such a beautiful writer. I thought of you the whole time I was in the city. Praying for your ease into that new normal. And thankful you were able to spend that final time with him. Hugs!

  144. Joanne….I honestly can not believe that this has happened to you! I may have not visited in your blog in a while (I was caught up in my own drama this summer >< ) but the first thing I read when I came back to visit your blog was this...

    You are such a strong person, and your Dad sounded like such a strong person as well!

  145. Gwen says:

    I am so sincerely sorry for all that you’ve been through. What a beautifully written post from the heart. “Relics of normalcy in a time of absurdity.” well said, so true.

    You could not be more right or more mature than to think of that as not only a dinner party, but one that is more important and memorable than any other you may have had or will have. My thoughts are with you friend.

  146. Hi Joanne. Very sorry for your lost. :( Your post had really touched me and taught me to appreciate those around me. Beautifully written. My prayer is with you and your family. hugs!!

  147. Shedding tears as I read about your last dinner party together. Love you, Joanne <3

  148. Nicole says:

    Your dad sounds like a very special person and I’m so sorry for your loss. You’re very brave to share your experience and you’ve definitely reminded me to cherish my family and friends every single day. Thank you.

  149. Sara says:

    Joanne, I have been reading your blog for so long now that I feel like I know you in person. My mother had cancer 12 years ago and she is still with us. She chose to follow what the doctors told her, and this saved her life. I feel VERY lucky. I feel even more lucky now, after reading your words and trying to understand what it feels to lose one of your parents when you still have loads of projects for your life, and you imagine your mum and dad to be proud of you when you meet your goals and realise your dreams… I thank you for your words, because you remembered me the important role family has in my life, but I also want to tell you how much I admire you, because you are a very brave woman. Your father will be proud of you, and I am sure also your mother is. I wish you all the best for the future and I send you a hug, like a not-only-virtual friend.

  150. Elizabeth says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Your dad sounds like an awesome person.

  151. Simple delicious
    I think this is a food for the gods.
    Thank you for the recipe.
    Bye from Italy

  152. Your dad sounds amazing. I’m sure he always knew how blessed he was to have a daughter like you. Hugs.

  153. Cara says:

    What a truly beautiful gift that you were able to nourish your father in his hours, the way you will always remembered how he nurtured you.

  154. Kerstin says:

    I’m so sorry Joanne *hugs* I teared up reading your post – it’s such a lovely tribute to your dad – the love really shines through. I’ll be thinking of you and your family.

  155. Claudie says:

    Joanne, I am so sorry for your loss. I had tears in my eye reading this post and thought of brave you are to stay strong like this. I can tell from your words your father was a wonderful man, but it’s also evident from the character you have.
    Big hugs to you.

  156. tigerfish says:

    I am sorry for your loss. There are definitely sentiments and notes I can take with me right now.

  157. Hey Sweetie–what a beautiful post and tribute to your father. He raised a wonderful, strong woman and I know he will be with you forever. From my own experience losing my dad 18 years ago this month, there isn’t a lot to say to comfort at a time like this-know only that the wonderful memories you have of him will help get you through the difficult times. Take care of yourself and your family. Xoxo, Deb

  158. That will take the chill away from these cold evenings.

  159. Alex says:

    This was a beautiful and sad post. Thank you for, as always, reminding me to nourish myself and those around me. My condolences for your loss.
    From experience, every personal loss, illness etc makes me a better, kinder, more compassionate doctor. Maybe you can take small comfort in that.

  160. vianney says:

    I have thinking about you ever since your last post~ and then I read this post and am amazed at your father’s courage. Sending you big hugs and prayers!

  161. thyme Sarah says:

    Another blogger was mentioning how sad she felt for you but was proud of your resilience. I cam over to also say that I am sorry for your loss of your father. My best wishes go to you and your family as you look for the hope and new normal. Have a wonderful fall weekend.

  162. Katie says:

    *HUGS* It’s not easy for a girl to lose her dad.. I lost mine 13 years ago.. There is always questions, what could be different if only had happened? I hope this is something that doesn’t haunt you for long. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

  163. Elizabeth says:

    I have been negligent and have just now read your beautiful tribute to your father. How lovely, in spite of the loss and grief, that you and your family were able to spend his last days with him.

    What a wonderful father he clearly was. Please accept my deepest sympathies.

  164. What a wonderful tribute to your Father. He’d be very proud to read how you have written of him. I am sorry for your loss, but I also celebrate the life of such a good man. To be surround by family and friends at the end of life speaks volumes about the life that has been led.

    I havent been here in awhile. But when i saw that thread on your FB wall, I knew I had to come here. I read your post one after the other. It’s more than a month since he passed away but I wanna offer my prayers and condolences.

    Hugs
    Malou

  165. [...] is always going to be a rough month for me, but we had another death in the family yesterday and all I wanted was to be small enough to curl [...]

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