The kitchen was dimly lit. I sat near my mother and watched in complete and utter amazement as she mixed the ingredients together. Oh, my goodness! I thought. She's making brownies. Brownies! My mother is making brownies!!

So, what's the big deal? My mother was making brownies for my son's Pidyon HaBen (Redemption of the Firstborn Son) ceremony. My son was born in California where my husband and I had moved to from New York, right after my father fell into a coma. It had been eight long months of running between my parent's house and the hospital. Eight long months of not knowing what new challenges awaited us day in and day out.

My mother set up shifts so that someone would be by my father's bedside around the clock. I had a very long day-shift and spent many difficult hours at my father's side throughout my pregnancy. Aside from constantly having an active part in ensuring only the best for my father's care, my mother had to make sure there was food in the house, bills were being paid, and my two youngest sisters had someone to come home to at the end of their school day. She became both mother and father in the house, taking all the burdens and then some onto her own shoulders.

Now my son was a month old and I hadn't seen my father for twenty-nine days. My mother took over my shift at the hospital in addition to her own. After a very physically and emotionally draining day, she would come home. And tonight, instead of relaxing and taking some time off for herself, she was busy making a beautiful spread for her new grandson's Pidyon HaBen.

I watched as her strong hands mixed the batter – the strong hands of my dear mother, whose strength and faith just keep us going through these extremely difficult and trying times. As she poured the brownie batter into the baking pan, I said a silent prayer, asking G‑d to please continue giving my mother the ability to deal with any difficulties that may lie ahead. I asked Him to make sure that whatever He decides should be the outcome of my father's coma, my mother should not suffer any longer and should only see revealed good in this situation.

I will never forget that night, and how humbled I felt before my mother who continues to keep our family together, keeping us strong, her hands encircling us in a net of overwhelming love and unshakeable faith.

In loving memory of my father, Aryeh Leib Reuven ben Yaakov Grifkin