In 2010 I wrote a poem and blog post dedicated to my mom, and to the 26th anniversary of her death. “Christmas Cookies With Mom” was inspired during a time of year when emotions typically run high, especially over people who are no longer here to celebrate with us. The poem was my recognition and reflection about how I have processed my mom’s death over the years. I was 19 when she died.
The other night I was decorating the Christmas tree with my boyfriend’s two teenage daughters; a very special moment for me. It was very touching to help put up ornaments from the time they were just babies.
I’m aware that their mom passed away several years ago, this stirred up thoughts within me of Christmas time and my own mom, and I remembered the Christmas poem I wrote in memory of her in 2010.
I want to share it again. I realize how important it is for me to celebrate life, and how healing it continues to be for me to make peace with death. I do miss and think about my mom, especially during the holidays, yet in so many ways my life is not lacking, so I savor the richness in this.
I hit another milestone a few days ago. On December 11th, I realized that 2012 makes it 25 years since my father’s death. It occurred to me what a long, long time that really is. I thought of him fondly the other day, remembered his odd quirks, and smiled. Of course every year at this time I think of him, yet I am at peace about it too. Time does heal.
The words to that poem I wrote in 2010 tugged at me again. I share them again.
Christmas Cookies With Mom
My mother did that, and I don’t remember!
and I thought I forgot how to roll pie crust
as thin as your famous Boston Cream Pie was
the one you made every Christmas…
I must admit, it was never really my favorite
but I liked to dip my finger in the whipped cream
and you always yelled, ”Patty, are your hands clean?”
It’s been so many Christmas Days without you
and the lights have dimmed on the pain
and I am twinkling again, merry and bright
still dreaming, still believing, beaming
Feeling the magic of Christmas night
I took out my bowls and measuring cups
butter, sugar, flour, and some baking powder
stirred my emotions in cookie dough
and before I knew it the memory came back
and I was nine years old in the kitchen…
it was like riding a bicycle, so simple and clear
after so many years there I was…
baking cut out Christmas angels and hearts,
To say, I’m not a baker is no longer true
for the first time this Christmas
I’ve let the baker always within me shine through
Yes, I bake cookies, and damn they’re good!
and Cheers to you mom, you probably knew they would.