Friday, March 12, 2010


I took each small pinch of dark, gooey, sticky dough and rolled it into a perfect ball.

Then I rolled them in sugar, sugar, sugar.

And in the end, what I wound up with was a little bit of love (in cookie form) sent from someone who isn't here any longer. She would make the teeniest of the tiny molasses cookies. She bagged them up in small batches - enough to hand out to each of us when we were lucky enough to have her seat filled at my parent's dinner table.

The epitome of divine, she was.

Kind of like these cookies.

A few weeks ago, it was our turn to bring cookies to class. The heavy, somber, intense class that teaches us how to cope/understand/deal with/survive having a family member with mental illness. My husband had signed us up for refreshments and the sweet (vs. the savory) for the evening. I knew immediately that Gramma Dorie's cookies would be what I would make. Just as I don't have to think about breathing, I would be making these cookies for the broken people in our class, hoping that their sweet, spicy flavor and chewy texture would make the hurt, the worry, the confusion go away...even if only for one bite.

Break time comes in the middle of class - usually after a lecture containing words and concepts I've never heard of before and even larger words that I can't pronounce without help. I feel like I'm on an episode of Sesame Street as I sound out the syllables, one by one, then threading them together to make a word - but that's what we do. We learn. We listen. And we deal.

And knowing you aren't the only person on the planet who has been there, helps a lot too.

In a way, Gramma Dorie had that in common with this class we're taking. They both assure. They both educate. And they both let us know that hey, other people go through this stuff too. So I thought it only more appropriate to bring these as my offering, my gift, my thanks to those who have walked this path before me and who listen as I struggle to understand.

It's like molasses.

Sticky and sweet, all at the same time.

And if you can get past the sticky...then the sweet is a nice reward.



Sounds like your coping as well as can be's always hard to understand why. Then when you eat a few of those sticky sweet cookies it helps to understand that we will never know why. Save us a couple of those they look gooood!

J & B

Anonymous said...

I miss her.


Kendra said...

I've decided that this will be the year I learn how to make caramels. Every year, my mom starts the day after Thanksgiving and goes right up until Christmas. They're really simple but incredibly time-consuming and particular. And I realized recently that she won't always be here to make them. So learning how to make them, and making a promise to do it when she's not around to do it anymore, that's my gift to her, to myself, and to all the people who will get to experience them.

I never really understood the deep meaning of a family recipe, until recently. But it can offer all kinds of healing. I hope yours does.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful Carrie...I hope the news from the front lines of battle have been good!

amanda said...

Oh, honey.

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Anonymous said...

You have a way with words, lady. Keep up the good work.