May 5: Joy, Grief and Ginger Bread Loaf

kit yoon

I always knew I would have two kids, a boy and a girl. 

It could be because that’s the family structure I know: I have an older brother and there’s me. Historically, we tend to repeat and recreate familiar environment for that sense of safety.

I just didn’t know that in my situation the boy AND the girl would happen in one go!

The year was 2003.

“How many do you want,” I asked my husband, Jim, on the flip phone as I drove away from the first ultrasound at Stanford Fertility clinic.

For some reason, I had to go to the 6-week pregnancy appointment alone that day, a 45 minute drive from our home in Santa Cruz.

“Two!” Jim said enthusiastically on the other line. 

My eyes welled up, my voice cracked. 

“We’re having two, honey! We’re having twins!” I screamed with tears rolling down my face which made it hard to navigate driving in the rain.

Fast forward 18 years, these said twins will be leaving the nest soon. 

I am, naturally, reluctant to release these twin birds. And yet, that is what’s most natural for their evolution and progression. 

Suffice to say, I am experiencing what might be pre-grief: that feeling of disbelief, of longing, or sadness in anticipation of the transition.

It’s the juxtaposition experiencing the joy of seeing your children successfully moving forward on their journey and the sorrow of no longer being needed by them. 

I’m also experiencing the uncertainty of the future.

What’s life going to be like now? Who am I now to them, to myself, to my husband? 

This must be the yin-yang experience that challenges us to embrace the waves of opposing emotions. I can take preventative measures  knowing that I get sea sick easily. 😱

Where’s that dramamine for the waves of joy & grief? 😆

Well, I know that ginger is a natural anti-emesis and baking is a natural anti-depressant.

So, let us bake a ginger bread loaf, shall we?




  • ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Grease loaf pan with butter and set aside.
  • In a stand mixer bowl, add butter and sugar. I use this mixer all the time!
  • Mix on medium speed until well combined.
  • Add eggs and vanilla, mixing until creamed and fluffy, about a minute.
  • In a separate small bowl, add molasses and hot water. Stir until combined.
  • In a third bowl, sift together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.
  • To your butter mixture, add half of your dry ingredients, stirring until mostly incorporated.
  • Add half of your molasses mixture, stirring until incorporated.
  • Repeat once more, adding your remaining dry ingredients and molasses mixture. Do not over mix!
  • Pour batter into greased loaf pan.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Transfer loaf pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before enjoying.


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  1. mary margulies says

    I am definitely going to try this delicious sounding cake!
    I love your writing, thoughts and wisdom. You make me want to try to be more thoughtful, forgiving, understanding and kind.
    Hope your summer is full of memory making moments with your kids. I promise you there is more joy ahead !