These are the last cookies my grandmother made.
She always had a container of cookies in her freezer. Always. In college I would visit her once a month or so and one of the first things she did was pull out cookies from the freezer. Then she wanted to fix a plate of food and start my laundry.
I remember making cookies with her in her galley kitchen, standing on a stepstool to reach the counter.
Every occasion had a cookie to match. The really special occasions also included pie. This container held so many dozens of cookies in the freezer over the years.
Last week, my mother and one of my aunts pulled this container out of the freezer for the last time. The cookies sat on the counter, next to the small bag of peanut butter cups that became the last "food" my grandmother could stand to eat.
Her legacy is so much more than cookies. Oh, she was a strong woman. She was thoughtful and forthright. Gentle and firm. Gracious. Supportive. A miracle worker with plants.
She was the keystone. She didn't want to be the center of anything, and yet she was the center of everything in her quiet way. The kitchen was the center of her home. How appropriate that this humble container of cookies would move me.
Family gathered here for birthdays, anniversaries, and just because. They spilled out onto the covered porch, children running in and out while adults shared stories over beer. There were cookies every time. Cookies and Grandma.
This kitchen, this container, this countertop, and these cookies contain so many memories of her. I'm so glad I get to keep those, no matter where I am.
I see a lot of incredible moments of the human experience while being with families in love and grief. From each family I learn, and those lessons and points to ponder are what I wish to share with you here.