I’ll be honest–if it weren’t for my daughter, I might be tempted to hide under the covers for the week of Passover. My mom passed away 10 years ago the day before Passover, and it was the first holiday without her.

Even though my mom suffered with cancer for three years, she had somehow managed to do all of the preparations and cooking for the family for every holiday. My family was at such a loss that first Passover. Every year since my mom died, a dear friend invited me to join her seder. I declined the kind offer until the year I was pregnant, feeling a sense of importance to create a holiday ritual for my new family.

This will be the sixth year for us to be joining our friends at the Passover seder. Creating a new family of my own and being surrounded by friends who have begun to feel like family now feels like a way to honor my mom’s memory. I hope you’re creating warm Passover memories too, even if they’re sometimes bittersweet like mine. Happy Passover!