A Bittersweet Birthday Celebration

“Where There is Deep Grief, There was Great Love.”

This past weekend was difficult.  My husband and I flew north to celebrate his mom’s birthday.  It’s always great being with his family, but it’s weird going back there, expecting her to be in the house, only to realize she’s not.  Everything you see in the house reminds you of her. She loved to decorate and was so talented at it.

I wish you all could have met her.  She was beautiful inside and out.  I like to refer to her as Mama Yolie because she was so much more than a mother-in-law. She was a friend, a mentor and an example of kindness. She was an amazing wife, mother, party planner, DIYer and everything in between.  She possessed this infectious personality and was always the life of the party!photo (1)

Mama Yolie passed away October 25th, 2015 from breast cancer.  She was one of the strongest women I have ever known.  You actually forgot she even had this disease because she was always on the go and would never hint at being in pain.  I didn’t realize how the cancer was affecting her until we took a girl’s trip to New York in August.  Just Mama Yolie, myself and my sister-in-law Christina.IMG_3637

We were NONSTOP!!  We took in the sights and the shows (Phantom of the Opera and Wicked) and walked and laughed and looked at this amazing city.  Mama Yolie was a trooper but you could tell she was struggling.  Where before she would walk the entire city (as she would comment to me and Christina), this time around she would stop and rest and let us girls walk ahead.  I think that’s when reality hit me that this disease was affecting her more than I knew.IMG_3542photoDSCN4081

I am so thankful that God blessed us with this trip.  A time for us women to be together and bond.  I believe this trip brought all of us closer and I am so thankful for that.  These are memories that I will hold close to my heart forever.  DSCN4099IMG_3587cropped-img_3616.jpgDSCN4103

This weekend we celebrated the beautiful woman that she was.  We went out to eat at some of her favorite restaurants, hung out together as a family and ate a delicious Persian meal prepared by our Aunt.  But most importantly, we reflected on how this woman truly impacted our lives.  DSCN4502

We love you Mama Yolie.  XOXO.DSCN4525




5 thoughts on “A Bittersweet Birthday Celebration

  1. This is so beautiful Jenneke! Mama Yolie was definitely a special woman. She was one of the sweetest and fun people I have ever met. I am so happy you got to have your special girls trip to New York; that is really really amazing. You’re gonna cherish those pictures and memories forever. You were lucky to have her as a mama and friend for all of these years! RIP Mama Yolie ❤


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