Friday, September 11, 2009

Bittersweet times ...

According to Wiki, the term bittersweet means "a combination of the standard tastes of sweetness and bitterness, and is often used as a metaphor for experiences which have binary elements of happiness and sadness, or pleasure and pain." I think bittersweet is a somewhat appropriate description of September 11th. It was a horribly, bitter day for America. At the same time, the sweet element came from people coming together for their country, their communities, and for each other. On that terrible day in US history, we weren't black or white, male or female, Republican or Democrat, rich or poor -- we were just Americans.

Life has been bittersweet for me lately. I miss my girls, but I know they're doing what's important to them. Having to let your children go, especially in times like now, isn't an easy thing to do. First, Nichelle went to Hawaii, right as North Korea was on their rant about wanting to send missiles there. Then she went to Borneo, just days after a major earthquake. Now Nicole is in Florida, in the height of hurricane season. All I have to do is watch the news if I want to stay completely insane. Another bittersweet moment for me this year was going back to California and visiting my mom. I'm not sure if I'll get another chance to do that. That thought flooded my mind as I stood by her bedside saying goodbye. That was definitely a bittersweet moment. Another one is coming up on the 16th, which will be Nichelle's 20th birthday.

When I hear the term bittersweet I think of chocolate. Bittersweet chocolate is a form of chocolate that does not contain milk in either liquid or dry form. It's a mixture of chocolate liquor, sugar, cocoa butter, and vanilla. Regardless of the name, chocolate liquor contains no alcohol, but is a process of grinding cocoa beans down into a liquid form. According to the FDA, bittersweet chocolate has at least 35% chocolate liquor. The higher the percentage, the more intense flavor it has. Even more interesting is that the higher the percentage is, the less sweet the chocolate is. I love the 88% dark chocolate bars from Endangered Species. Recent studies claim that eating small quantities of dark chocolate regularly might benefit your heart because of the antioxidants it contains. That's good enough for me, and in light of today being 9/11, it seems like a good day for chocolate.


  1. Ohhhhhhhhh I have the hardest time even looking at those pics. We had been there - at the top of those towers just a couple months before the attacks.

    It brings such sadness to my heart - all the lost lives...

  2. Yes, today is definitely a good day for any kind of chocolate comfort.


  3. This is a wonderful post reminding us of the day. My heart goes out to all those involved.

  4. Thank you for the touching reminder of September 11...It was a horrible, horrible day, but your post reminds us that there was some good that came from it...Hugs...

  5. A horrific day in history, but a very nice reminder to pause and remember the victims.

    Neat info about chocolate though, I didn't know a lot of that.


  6. Such a sad day for all of us. What a beautiful post to remind us of what we have and to not take things for granted.


  7. A wonderful post as usual - thoughtful and insightful and personal. I truly enjoy finding my way to your blog each day Rena - thanks for sharing yourself and your blog with me.

    Just a thought though, do you notice how your topic invariably end up with chocolate? hmmmm