The sweet heavenly aroma of Mom’s delicious chocolate chip cookies often permeated the walls of my childhood home.
Whenever lucky enough to be home while Mom was baking, I’d hover around like a vulture, not giving her much space to move about our small kitchen and work her magic. My frequent impatient comments of “I wanna help!” fueled Mom’s impatient replies of “Just a minute, Marla!” Helping add ingredients, always meant first dibs at eating raw cookie dough, or better yet, warm cookies fresh from the oven.
I always looked forward to Mom volunteering to bake cookies for PTA and church functions, holidays, or when friends came over, knowing our family of five would have our own little batch to delightfully devour.
Mom lovingly hired new baking helpers and a bigger demolition crew with the addition of two son-in-laws, a daughter-in-law and nine grandchildren. Her blissful treats became known as Mimi’s Cookies.
As the two-year anniversary of Mom’s passing came near, my grief revved up a notch. One afternoon during a family gathering, my seventeen-year-old nephew Josh, approached, and said, ” Hey, Aunt Marla. Don’t think I’m crazy, but sometimes I smell Mimi’s cookies or her kitchen in random places, like on the football field or when I’m at church!”
“You’re not crazy, ” I said holding back tears. “Mimi loved making cookies for you all. That was her thing. You smelling her baking is Mimi’s way of saying hello and that she is with you.” Josh smiled and nodded. A sincere hug sealed our sweet discussion.
A few weeks later, for the first time, I attempted to make Mom’s renowned Mimi’s Cookies for Thanksgiving dessert. My emotions were high, wanting the cookies to be perfect. Josh was the first of the cookie-demolition-crew to venture towards Mom’s black and silver cookie bin. He grabbed a cookie, looked at me at said, “Hey Aunt Marla, did you shape these cookies into hearts?”
“No, I don’t have a cookie cutter, why?” Confused, I walked by his side.
Subtle yet obvious were nine heart-shaped cookies that Josh had picked from the top of the batch. We both stared at what was obviously a divine gift from Mimi. Our entire family was thankful as nine grandchildren proudly posed for a picture before they enjoyed their very own heavenly-made treat.
A few days later, after telling a co-worker about Mimi’s heavenly gift, she sarcastically blurted out, “Did ya’ll see an image of Jesus in the cookie?”
Momentarily deflated, my heart sank. Then, the Holy Spirit provided me with the answer: “If God can part The Red Sea, heal the blind, and raise the dead, HE can sure shape a cookie so that we can feel my mother’s love!” Speechless, my co-worker walked away.
My crash course in Heavenly Signs 101 taught me that Love comes in all forms — even in the shape and smell of chocolate chip cookies.