July 15, 2014 Leave a comment
It hit me today how traumatic just making cookies has become for me. Not traumatic as in they remind me of abuse, but that the thought of making them makes me unbearably sad. They shouldn’t. I love to make cookies from scratch. I use a modified version of my mother’s recipe that we worked out years ago over the phone so that I’d get them just the way I like them. I’ve since been making this recipe so much that I could very nearly make it with my eyes closed. I love having to guard the bowl from my little ankle biters, then sneaking a little cookie dough when they aren’t looking, knowing that when it was my mom, she had five kids, their friends, and my father to keep away from the cookie dough. It’s no wonder that my recipe yields more cookies than hers said it would, I don’t more than half a dozen mouths to fight off. I love pulling them out, letting them cool a little, then scarfing down three while they’re still warm and the chocolate still melted. I love taking them to family get togethers and sharing them, coming home with nothing (don’t worry, I try to save enough dough at home to make another dozen). But it’s taking them to share with family that’s caused my problem.
Everyone loves chocolate chip cookies, and so I made it a thing to bring them every so often for family gatherings. I’ve had my moments of experimenting with other things too, but I feel the cookies are most anticipated. Two years ago, we came to realize that our time with a family member was terribly numbered. When time was really getting down there, I tried to make sure there was a handful of cookies for just her so that she could have some at home after the gathering. We all knew she was going to go soon, but I guess I tried not to think about it too much. Then tragically, my brother passed the same day she went into hospice. I was so overcome with loss that it never sank in that she was about to pass as well. Even when she went, I was empty already, avoiding any thought besides the most superficial otherwise I was afraid I’d just spend my sleeping and turning off the world completely.
Cut to just before Easter of this year. I’m busy making cookies to go with my second cheesecake and talking to my mother, my uncle Gerald in the background when I realized out loud that I hadn’t made homemade cookies in over a year. And finally I was able to mourn her without the shadow of my brother keeping me back. The cookies suffered.
Sadly, that was one of the last times I’d heard my Uncle’s voice. He passed in May. And now, with another passing looming over the horizon, I’m planning on cookies again, because I missed them. But just the thought of making them has begun to cause me pain, and I lament to myself, how long will it take me to not cry at the thought of making cookies? Pull it together Cici. Make cookies, be happy.
Sometimes it just floors me the things that will remind me of those I’ve lost, and make me cry. I know, I’m an emotional person, who has been known to tear up over credit card commercials, but making cookies? Or the song “Little Wonders”? Admittedly, that one did make me tear up when I watched Meet the Robertson’s, but I now think of my brother, even though it wasn’t one of the songs they played at his service, nor is it the kind of song I thought he liked. I think of my Grandmother when my son plays with the Playschool record player I found one day (I cried when I bought it).
I don’t know, maybe I’m just an overly weepy person and the more loss I experience the more things are going to remind me of those losses. I guess when I can’t turn around for fear that I’ll be a human waterfall, I’ll know my answer.