This was cookie weekend, a family tradition started 65 years ago when my parents were poor and needed an additional source of income. Mom was a great baker and folks loved her cookies so she started baking and selling boxes for extra cash. As things got better financially Mom kept baking cookies, but instead of selling them they became gifts at the holidays for my Dad’s clients. It was well known at the annual Hotel/Motel show in New York City to stop by Berkowitz’s booth to get some of Raynor’s homemade cookies-to a small child growing up she was famous!
My Mom could do anything she was invincible, she could cook, bake, sew, paint, garden, work, do math, and live with my father, she was my hero. When my father told me she had breast cancer my world stopped. My mother, best friend, confident, teacher, person who I could always make giggle, was 60 and sick, suddenly my life was out of control. Control– we all try to control that which happens in our home lives our work lives, without control there is chaos. How do we react when control is taken from us grasping to make sense out of the uncontrollable? I stopped eating it was the only thing I could control. I got very thin.
As cookie weekend unfolded I watched all the “kids” and looked at Miriam and how wonderful she looks captured me. She is a beautiful person, smart, kind and generous and she looks terrific. I felt a kind of deja vu, I’d been here before. Yes, cookie weekend has been going on pretty much unabated for the last 40 or so years but there was something else.
My Mom and I were both diagnosed with cancer at sixty. During this crisis I lost weight and now so has Miriam. Coincidence or history repeating itself or is it one in the same? I am not looking for some grand meaning in the coincidence, no irrevocable links of fate, bad karma, or premonition of what the future holds. I was simply struck this weekend, surrounded by family and thousands of cookies, I flashed back 30 years. A similar cookie weekend, kids all around, my Mom recovering from cancer surgery, cookies everywhere and me 50 lbs. lighter and looking pretty good and feeling great.
I think I am jealous. I want to be thin again, cancer free, looking great, feeling great. I also want the future for my daughter to be cancer free; I don’t want history to repeat.