In the wake of a loved one’s passing, many find solace in preserving cherished memories through photos, mementoes, or keepsakes. For former journalist Krystal Penny Bowen, the route of memory for her late mother, Sheralene Bowen, begins in the kitchen. The destination is the book, Food: My Mother’s Love Language: Celebrating the Life of Sheralene Bowen, a culinary tribute encapsulating her mother’s delicious recipes.
Bowen has received heartwarming feedback from readers who commend her for the touching tribute to her mother.
She fondly recalled one of her most cherished memories of working side by side with her mother in the kitchen, a place where they not only prepared meals but also nurtured their bond.
“My mother loved to let me take photos of her food. I think that was the only way that I could be in the kitchen. In addition to that we would work together to get her food orders out. I was often called on to get the supplies or prep the raw materials. I would provide as much support as possible and in some cases, I would even serve the food at the event during her catering jobs,” she said.
The idea took root in November 2021 when Krystal created a 12-page draft containing her ailing mother’s 12 cherished recipes. Sheralene wholeheartedly embraced the concept and supported her daughter’s effort until she succumbed to cervical cancer just four months later. Krystal was determined to see her dream of publishing the book come to fruition, not only as a culinary compilation but also as a brief glimpse into the multifaceted life of her beloved mother, who was not only a chef but also a devoted mom and active community member.
Krystal emphasised her dedication to commemorating her mother’s life with the utmost respect for her final days and their family. The book primarily focuses on her mother’s remarkable career as a cook and entrepreneur, taking approximately four months to complete. Krystal collaborated with Robert Gibson of Passionate Words Editing Services, whose expertise was invaluable in shaping the book’s layout and appearance.
While the writing process was undoubtedly challenging, Krystal firmly believes it played an integral role in her healing journey by allowing her to share her mother’s incredible persona with a wider audience.
Krystal said: “My mother was an incredible person. She was artistic, funny, kind and loving. She was a social butterfly – she enjoyed socialising, dancing, singing and volunteering. As a cook and chef, she worked in hospitality, in food canteens as well as in several restaurants such as the now defunct BJ’s Café, Wonderland Deli and the University of The West Indies Cave Hill Campus Cafeteria. She catered for The University of The West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, World Cup 2007, QEH Medical Staff as well as for the late Prime Minister of Barbados, The Rt. Hon. David Thompson and then-Attorney General of Barbados, and now Prime Minister of Barbados, The Hon. Mia Amor Mottley. Mom was unable to work for many years due to her declining health, in 2022 she was diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer.”
The graduate of The University of Leicester with a Masters of Art in Media, Communications, and Public Relations urges others to consider documenting their loved ones’ legacies through writing, as it can provide solace during the grieving process.
“Writing a book about your loved one is difficult, but I believe one should do it. My mom meant the world to me. She was my friend, she loved me unconditionally. When writing, think of what was truly special about that parent. For my mother, it was her love of cooking and how she used food to share her love. Food was her love language –it was how she showed her feelings, and she was an incredible cook too,” she shared, encapsulating the profound sentiment behind her tribute to her mother. (PR/BT)