Fresh Raspberry Pie and choosing happiness

I love those moments of clarity that smack you with the force of a fly swatter.

For the past three years, I have been struggling with the loss of my daughters from my daily life. I’m not sure that struggle is the best description for the profound sadness that I have experienced, constantly, over the last thirty six months. The sadness ran tandum with every other emotion that I felt; happy, excited, stressed but always sad. And it’s not as if I haven’t been busy! I remodelled our farmhouse. I designed a new Italian restaurant menu. I helped open the new restaurant. I have continued to live my life as I always have but in a vacuous longing space.

I miss my girls. I miss our family busyness. The fun that happens when the five of us are together is golden to me. Allowing myself to be happy without their magic – well that’s been the problem – I’ve not really made any attempt to be completely happy without them. Maybe I thought that if I didn’t accept the fact that they are no longer living in Saint John, miraculously they would return.  I know that sounds ridiculous but it’s the only explanation that I can come up with for my insistence on being miserable.

Yesterday afternoon, after five gruelling hours in the hot sun laying fresh Kentucky blue grass sod around our new patio, Ralph and I headed out on the river. The day was spectacular. Lazy clouds, warm winds and flat water. We love to putt along the Saint John river admiring all of the beautiful farmland . It is truly one of the most stunning river valleys in the world.

The beauty surrounding us calmed me enough to finally understand how precious this time in my life is. I have raised three strong women who are blazing into their lives like lightening bolts. Our parents are happy and well. I still have a crush on my husband. I have a blessed life.

Peacefully and gratefully, I let the sadness go. I felt it leave as completely as it had descended upon me.

I will always miss my life when the girls lived at home but the life I am living is just as full, just as lovely. It’s just different.

I chose to be sad. Now, I choose to celebrate…

And I started with a fresh raspberry pie!

Follow the recipe from my link for the pastry.

For the filling I used:

5 cups fresh raspberries

2 cups white sugar

1/3 cup flour

Toss the sugar and flour together

Prepare the crust following the directions from my link

Shape the pastry

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the sugar mixture into the empty pie shell then fill with the raspberries.

Pour remaining sugar mixture over raspberries.

Top with crust, crimp, trim and brush it with a wash of 1 egg mixed well with 1 tablespoon of whipping cream. Make steam vents in pastry top.

Sprinkle top with sanding sugar.

Bake at 450*F 15 minutes

Reduce oven temperature to 350*F

Continue baking 45 minutes until crust is golden and fruit is bubbly.

I served my pie with homemade peach ice cream.

Thanks for reading.

  • Tammy

    Good morning Michelle, So happy you have found your ah ha moment. Thanks for sharing. I am going througt the EXACT same feeling and emotions about my children as well. As I am sure many others are too. I have not yet found that special moment which you have, but I know it will come. Tasha is in Paris travelling Europe as we speak for a month. I was drinking my coffee this a.m and getting ready to head out for a walk on this breath taking morning and was actually crying how I would love to be going for my walk with my daughter listening to all her chatter . Then I read your post. As I go for my walk I will be thankful for all life has to offer me in the stage of my life and spend more time to enjoy with family and friends instead of all the time spent mourning the life I had with Tasha. Thank you. This post has been a blessing to my morning. Tammy

    • Thank you for your insightful and kind response. It has made my day!

  • Kaitie

    This looks perfect!! Beyond! Love you! xoxo

  • Meggie

    I love this post! However pie is not my favor. But I will eat it if you want

    • 6 more days and I will be able to bite you!

  • Kizzy

    I was picking raspberries in my back yard today – sadly for the first time since I bought my home 9 years ago – and recalled that the last time I picked fresh berries was with my Gram who passed away last fall. She made the most fantastic raspberry pie (still my favourite), among other things. I made chocolate-lined raspberry tarts in her honour tonight with those fresh raspberries I picked…and it made me happy to know that I have that, and so many more, wonderfully happy memories of Gram. Thanks for the recipes!

    • It’s remarkable to me how cooking and food can evoke such wonderful and personal memories. Thanks for sharing!

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