Resilient Person Highlight: Jan Feinberg

RECIPE: Kailua Trifle 


  • 1 box Devil’s Food Cake 
  • 2 packages instant chocolate pudding 
  • ½ cup kailua 
  • 2 large Nestle Crunch Candy Bars 
  • 1 large container of Cool Whip 


  1. Bake Devil’s Food Cake in a lasagna pan by following the instructions on the box. 
  2. Once baked, cut the cake in pieces and line a trifle bowl. 
  3. Layer bowl with cake, then pour ¼ cup of kalua on the cake pieces. 
  4. In a separate bowl, make chocolate pudding. 
  5. Layer the pudding on the cake- kailua  layer. 
  6. Crush ½ of the Nestle Crunch candy bars and create the next layer. 
  7. Add ½ cup cool whip on top. 
  8. Repeat process and top with the rest of crumbled candy. 
  9. Refrigerate until serving.


*Can be made with a vanilla cake and fruit, as well as vanilla pudding and other types of liquor. 


One of the hardest parts of my life, was seeing my mother lose her grasp on life. My mother was my best friend and confidant and as she began to lose her memory as a result of dementia, I was left with just a shell of her. The process was slow, but looking back I see there were early signs that we blamed on her poor hearing. All of a sudden my go to person, didn’t have the answers to my problems. She didn’t seem to understand the small things, and would read the same page of a magazine over and over again.  She became silent, though smiling all the while, having no idea of what was going on around her. 

This was so difficult for me, I decided to seek help through my doctor and found a very understanding therapist. His theory, which I later came to understand, was that I was losing the mother I had known but my  *new* mother was still there. She still loved me and when she had a “good moment”, her smile would light up my heart. 

She was still there for me to hug, kiss, and love, and until her death at 90 she remained my wonderful mom. Through this process I learned the patience that you need for those who have lost their reality. I have learned that they still need to be embraced and loved, and not shoved aside. Because the reality is, that person was always there for you and will always be there for you. I learned to embrace my mom even when I found her repeating herself. I continuously reminded myself as she is the woman who gave birth to me, my always loving mom. 

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