Hi folks. I’d like to first take a moment to thank everyone for being so kind this past week. I decided to take a brief absence from blogging. Been lots going on and I’ve had things on my mind, just needed some time off. I tend to get a bit blue on my Dad’s birthday every year which followed shortly after my Aunt’s funeral. Also managed to get sick yet again. It’s been a wild few weeks here at the Bee household. I thought taking a few days off to just chill and hang with the kids was in order and so glad I did it. I am back now and feeling right as rain again. Nothing like a few days to yourself to make you whole again. So thank you all for your understanding. Lunatic readers sure are a nice bunch. I adore you all to bits.
I wanted to pay homage to my Aunt who passed last week. She was my Dad’s sister. She passed away from cancer on December 26, 2011. I had just been up for a visit a couple hours before she passed. I am glad I was able to get up there that last day. The final couple of visits she was not aware I was there, she was sleeping for one visit and she was non-responsive her last day. I am okay with that. I know I was there and that is enough for me. She had Alzheimer’s as well so even during my previous visits she really was not aware most of the time who I was. I think she just thought I was a nice nurse who pushed her around in her chair and listened to stories. She told me about her kids and her life, sometimes it made sense, sometimes not. I always listened though and asked lots of questions. I think the greatest gift you can give someone during an illness is time. She talked a lot about my hair which always made me laugh and smile. My father did the same thing during his illness. So the parallel was odd but humorous to me. I would hold her hand and try to make things seem more normal. It was hard on her being in palliative care, she wanted to be home. She missed her cats and her house. Yet palliative care was the right choice for her.
For those of you who don’t know I took care of my Dad during his battle with the same cancer my Aunt had. He wanted to die at home. I look back on it and wonder where I found the strength to do it. Or the stamina. I am so thankful I did it but seeing my Aunt sick sure brought back a lot of memories. So it was difficult on so many levels. Yet I know that it was the right thing to do, when family is sick you do everything you can for them. If you have grudges let them go. Everyone deserves peace in their final days.
So this recipe is one my Aunt Barb taught me how to make. My Mom passed away when I was a teenager. She was one of those moms who did it all. When she died none of us knew how to cook. My aunt came in to help us out a bit. This is one of the things she taught me how to make. It is easy and quick which for a 15 year old learning to cook was paramount at the time. This is the first cheesecake I ever made. I have since learned to do baked versions, one I favour I still have not shared with you guys. For now I share the first cheesecake I ever ate and the first cheesecake I ever made. So kudos to Aunt Barb for teaching me to love cheesecake, for teaching me to make cheesecake and for sparking a love of baking that remains to this day.
I am not sure where the recipe came from but my inclination is from Philadelphia Cream Cheese, perhaps in a cookbook or newspaper at some time.
- 1¼ cup graham crumbs
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- 1 package of cream cheese, softened (for some reason I have double written next to it, so my assumption is when I used to make this often I found it set up better with 2 packages of cream cheese. I used 1 for this go at it.)
- 2 packages of dream whip, prepared as directed on package
- 1 can cherry pie filling
- In a bowl mix your graham crumbs and melted butter. Stir until well blended. Press into a pie plate, spring form pan or mini dessert glasses.
- In your mixer combine the dream whip as directed on package, whip until fluffy.
- Add in your cream cheese and continue to mix until well blended.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture into the pie plate, spring form pan, or mini dessert glasses. Smooth out.
- Pour the cherry pie filling over top and smooth out.
- You can sprinkle extra graham crumbs over top for visual effect if you like. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.
- Stick it in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set up.
Now if I can take a moment to send out a huge nod to my cousin Brian who was there every day for my Aunt. His Mom meant the world to him and he showed up, no matter how tough it was. He helped her do all the things she could not do for herself, comforted her when she needed it, made her laugh when she needed that too. So to Brian, I am sorry for your loss but grateful for the open heart you approached this journey with. Your Mom was so happy you were there and so proud of you.
|Aunt Barb, Dad, and Aunt Donna- taken in June 1997 in Alberta. All three taken by cancer, they are together now.|
This photo was taken when my Aunt Donna was sick with cancer back in ’97. She passed from colon cancer. My Dad passed from lung cancer in 2007. My Aunt Barb from lung cancer in 2011. Cancer affects so many families, ruins many lives. The only advice I can offer is seek medical attention immediately when you feel sick. Don’t wait. Early detection can make all the difference. In Dad’s case it would not have cured him but may have given him more time. So be vigilant folks. Physicals every year, be honest with the doctor, and your families. And if cancer strikes someone you know the best advice I can give and trust me this is from experience, is let all the nonsense go. In the end all that matters is people you love. You won’t be on your deathbed wishing you had worked more, or even done more, you’ll be wishing you had spent more time with people, told them how you feel. Let grudges go, let the one you love die in peace with those who love them. It’s all anyone wants in those final moments.
Toodles and smoochies. xx