We are all the same. We come into this world, we spend a blink of an eye here, and we leave. Our faces may be immortalized in pictures, and sometimes, our voices gert captured in a home movie or a sound clip for our family and friends to bring us back to life in spirit from time to time. But what we primarily leave behind are memories firmly embedded in the hearts and minds of our loved ones.
I consider myself incredibly lucky to have years of memories with Mom and an incredible group of family and friends who keep our collective cherished memories fresh…but no matter how hard we to prevent it, our brains are simply no match for time’s ceaseless march. However in the past year, something incredible and unique happened to me…an opportunity to freeze time.
Brief aside and then back to the story: I give all credit to my food blog to two people. The first is my wife who has been my rock through everything since pretty much the day we first met. She is the one who encouraged me to take my love of food and document it on a blog (it took a lot of convincing on her part to get me to start…aka purchasing a domain and telling me she bought it and I had better use it). The second is my mom, Lynne Olver. All while raising two kids with the devotion of a momma grizzly, she worked tirelessly to combine her lifelong desire to make knowledge accessible to everyone and for food history. While pursuing those two passions, she transformed herself into the world’s food history authority with her life’s work which is compiled at Food Timeline. As she researched, she’d often make the foods she was learning about and would try making anything (except lima beans). Those dinners are how I developed my passion for culinary adventure.
A few years after Mom’s passing, an incredibly gifted freelance writer named Dayna Evans (Twitter) was researching bread soup and stumbled across Food Timeline. After finding herself consumed by the wealth of information and learning that Mom had passed away, she felt compelled to learn more about Lynne Olver. She wrote an article about Mom and Food Timeline for Eater, which not only wound up building the foundation for a path forward for Food Timeline…it also brought Mom back to life for my family.
A short while later, after reading Dayna’s article, Sarah Vitak (Twitter) reached out to us wanting to put together a Proof Podcast for America’s Test Kitchen (Season 7, Episode 2). Through her work, she brought Mom back to life again, even sharing stories that I’d never heard before! It was such a thoroughly surreal, incredible, fascinating, and enlightening listen, and I encourage you to take the time to enjoy it.
I would like to say a personal thank you to both Dayna and Sarah (as well as everyone who contributed to the article and podcast) for freezing time momentarily and yet forever. Memories fade, and you both gave my family and me the priceless and elusive gift of timelessness.
I can’t wait to listen to the podcast – just downloaded it! This is a beautiful story, Jason. Your mom must have been one very special lady. You were lucky to have her.
Thank you, Cheryl! I really appreciate your kind words and constant support!