My sister and brother-in-law delivered their Christmas Cookies yesterday. Molasses Crinkles are my favorite. Peanut Butter Kisses run a close second. And the green almond Christmas trees, of course. They’re reminiscent of our childhood because they’re what Mom always made. Each year my sister bakes over 100 dozen cookies. That’s right, you read that correctly. Over 100 dozen cookies. Closer to 130 dozen actually. She and her husband spend a day or two preparing and baking, then divide them out amongst many platters and deliver them to friends, family, neighbors. It’s ritual. We all love it. And frankly, we’ve come to expect it. “Make extra Molasses Crinkles this year!” I’ll demand.
So last night as we sat visiting, munching their creations, I reminded them of the year those sweet creations brought me back to life. Before I begin, please know I’m not condoning emotional eating, or over-indulging in refined sugars. Though I’m a strong believer in EVERYTHING and anything in moderation. But I was reminding them of the year my former husband and I separated. I hadn’t had an appetite since he moved out before Thanksgiving. I hadn’t eaten or slept really, and my pants hung from my hips. I was pale and empty and broken-hearted and broken. I didn’t socialize because speaking to people was too much of a challenge. Besides, their good wishes just made me feel worse; sadder, angrier, more alone and more of a failure. So I was keeping to myself, licking my wounds, growling at anyone who dared come close. But Ruth had asked me to join her for tea and for the first time in many weeks I felt like I might be able to do it. It was a week or two before Christmas. I sat at her table behind my mug of tea, and looked at the platter of cookies. I bit into one because I had nothing to say. Then I reached for another. I imagine tears flowed with each cookie, but I’m not even sure. I just know that when that platter was emptied she just refilled it without a word. Then she refilled it again. Something inside me started warming that day. Some of the broken parts started stitching back together. I do remember even smiling as she brought out the fourth platter, laughing and saying “My God, no more!” Those cookies began a healing process for me. They bridged a gap that no words could span. It’s true. My heart began rebuilding with those sweets. I’ll never forget it. It was a long road. In many ways, I’m still traveling it. But those cookies helped get me on my feet again.
Sweetness helps the healing process. Health involves sweetness, in all its varied forms. Enjoy a little sweetness every day. It’s part of taking good care of yourself.