Remembering the sweet crunch of a frozen chocolate chip cookie had served up a plateful of memories.
It was this solemn and finalizing moment which caused a flood of childhood memories. Those random and simple moments that really didn't mean much then, but now surprisingly, opened up immense feelings of how grateful I was for those occasions.
Death of a loved one can bring out vulnerabilities that you didn't know were there. It's an unfamiliar and uncomfortable feeling, but at the same time it gently whispers discretely letting you know you've been blessed.
Aware that the end is near, the heart beats faster, hands fidget nervously and there's an uneasiness flutter in the stomach. You're preparing yourself for the last time...the last moment you'll notice the lines on their face, the curves of their fingers and their pleasing smile.
Thoughts are racing and a collection of flashbacks from years ago crowd my mind. All those card games played and crossword puzzles solved. Watching favorite TV shows and recalling the laughter from a silly joke. Stories read from the Readers Digest. Making bowls of popcorn on News Year Eve and staying up till midnight. Tasting my very first bitter, but grown-up cup of coffee with the snapping bite of a frozen chocolate chip cookie.
My grandma would bake batches of cookies and then store them in the freezer to be easily taken out when visitors arrived. I never waited for them to thaw; my sweet tooth would get the best of me and I'd grab a cold cookie and gobble down every crunchy bite.
Of course, cookies right out of the oven were great, but the ones from the freezer were a uniquely special treat when going to grandma's house.
At this moment, my grandma was reaching the age of 98 and me in my fifties when I realized I haven't had her frozen chocolate chip cookies since I was a young girl. So, as I sit with her in the nursing home knowing her time with us was nearing the end, I couldn't believe I was thinking of those cookies. How could something so seemingly simple and ordinary have such nostalgia after all these years?
It had long been beyond the days of grandma putting fresh baked cookies in the freezer, but on this day I realized the significance and meaning it had to my childhood. Those simple and ordinary moments are the building blocks of who I am and how I connected, but simultaneously, the innocence of that time had a surreal feeling. I knew those were my memories, but it felt like the child in my thoughts was a different person…not the current version of my older self.
Life keeps marching on and yet the loss of a loved one reminds us where we came from and how much they meant to us. Sometimes we have events from our past we want to put at the back of our mind and then suddenly, we're struck with a mere memory of chocolate chip cookies.
The mind works in mysterious ways.
The mind works in mysterious ways.
This final day helped me to feel grateful and appreciate the smallest gestures that may arrive in our life every day, but at times, go unnoticed.
That is, until we're forced to bear the uncomfortable feeling of loss, the soft whispers of vulnerability and a sudden desire for a frozen chocolate chip cookie.
In loving remembrance of my Grandmother who passed away
October 3, 2016.
Just 4 days after her 98th birthday.
May she rest in peace and, hopefully, enjoying some wonderful cookies.
How about you? Do you have a "chocolate chip cookie" memory?
Put your smile on and unwrap
A Square of Chocolate,