Made With Love

20 Apr

I often wonder why I like to bake so much.

I mean, I usually don’t eat what I bake.  I take a taste here or there, and if it’s really  good I may eat a whole cookie, cupcake, muffin….

But most times the treats get brought into work so as not to be a temptation at home.

And I rarely make the same recipe twice.  Most of the fun is trying new recipes or comparing similar recipes.  My pin boards are full of treats that I would like to try sometime.

In fact, I think that’s it.  I find it very relaxing to look at recipes online.  Often I am looking for flavors I think others would enjoy. Most recipes I pin are geared with a specific person in mind.  When I find just the right combination of flavors and ingredients, I pin it to my board and wait for the opportunity to bake.

I’ve made snickerdoodle blondies for my HR person at work who’s a huge snickerdoodle fan.  And I’ve made chocolate and peanut butter cupcakes and cookies with my immediate boss in mind.

I’ve made root beer cupcakes for Amp.  He’s the expert on fine bottles of root beer.  Pecan pie cupcakes, coconut bread, and key lime cookies and cupcakes were all made for my doting husband, and the thin mint cupcakes were based on Chip’s love for mint chocolate anything.

Today’s baking, however, is in honor of my mother-in-law, Rose.  Her health has been failing quickly these last few weeks, and it’s heartbreaking for all of us.  The cancer has taken over her entire abdomen.  She’s extremely bloated and her ankles are swollen. At only 100 pounds, the extra weight in her tummy and feet are even more pronounced.  She is in quite a bit of pain daily, and is popping pain meds often.

My incredibly sweet, caring husband stops by daily to check on her.  He claims she cries a lot now, and is very scared of, well, basically everything when she’s alone.  Yesterday was her birthday, and only a few weeks ago she was excited about going to the gambling boat with all of us adults.  Last week she admitted she didn’t feel like going anymore.  Instead, we’re getting as many family members together as possible to meet at her house to celebrate.

Unlike my hubby, I have a hard time expressing how I feel.  I’m not a huggy-touchy-feely person, and I don’t allow myself to open up to others.  I’m a little insecure that way, but my heart feels love just the same.  And I love her. She has meant so much to my immediate family.  She has always been very helpful with the kids without being overbearing.  While they were young, she dedicated a few days a week to spend one on one time with them. (And even now, she keeps her door open for them should they want to stop by. )  She’s a terrific lady, but I don’t know how to tell her.

So I’m baking.

I chose to make oatmeal creme pies again.  Little Debbie’s version is a staple in her house, so I knew this was the right choice for her.  I set about making them with all the love I could muster – not knowing if she would even feel like eating.

All afternoon, she turned down lots of opportunities to eat, claiming she wasn’t hungry.  But as soon as she saw Amp take a creme pie out of the container, she perked up.  “What are those?” she asked.

I proudly explained they were homemade oatmeal creme pie cookies.  She held her hand out for one and took a bite immediately.  “Mmmmmm….” she exclaimed.  “These are delicious.  I think I would like some coffee too.”

I watched her savor and enjoy every bite of her treat.  I doubt she knows the real reason I baked them.  And I don’t know if she’ll ever know how much she has meant to me.

But as I left tonight, I stepped out of my comfort zone and gave her a hug good-bye.  If the oatmeal creme pies weren’t clue enough, perhaps the unusualness of my hug will be enough to show her the feelings I am unable to put into words.


Posted by on April 20, 2013 in Baking, Family


Tags: , , , ,

10 responses to “Made With Love

  1. territerri

    April 20, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    I’m SURE your mother-in-law knew there was love baked into those oatmeal cream pies, just for her. They were a testament to how much you love her. So much thought and care went into them. It brought tears to my eyes to read this.

    I feel for all of you. It is awful to have to sit back and watch a parent grow sicker, weaker, more tired by the day. Your poor hubby… this happening so soon after losing his dad. I’ve not always been much of a hugger either, but the last few years, I’ve tried to break out of my comfort zone and outwardly express my feelings. I guess there have been too many losses that came with regrets because I’d never outwardly shown how much I cared. Anyway… I’m sending virtual hugs to all of you today.

    • shadowrun300

      April 21, 2013 at 12:56 am

      I know you understand how hard this is. My hubby has really stepped up to the plate and been there to take care of her. In fact, tonight, he is staying overnight since this morning her medicines were on the floor and a few chairs were knocked over. He doesn’t feel comfortable leaving her alone. She’s weak and her mind is fading quickly. I find his actions so admirable.
      And I know exactly what you mean about regrets. I’m trying to be more outward with my feelings too, because it’s important that others know how you feel.
      Thanks for the virtual hugs. They’re much appreciated!

  2. agg79

    April 20, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    I think what you are doing for your mother-in-law is wonderful. A true gift from the heart. Something simple that she would truly enjoy. I’m like you, i find it hard to express my emotions at times like these. As we are sitting back in the hospital again with my father-in-law, I can’t help but feel exactly the same as you. You realize that the time may be short, you want to help, you want to do something but you feel helpless at this time. I know your gift will brighten her day. She knows you love her and appreciates all that you’ve done for her. You’ll be in our prayers.

    • shadowrun300

      April 21, 2013 at 1:10 am

      I suppose it’s MY way of showing her how much she means to me.
      And yes, I DO feel helpless and DON’T know what to do to help. I’m just trying to be there for my husband, and trying to do more at home so he can be there for his mom. Such a difficult time, as you well know. Going through all this so soon after his dad just means that he has no doubt that he wants to be there for his mom, no matter how awful it is to watch her fade away.
      Thank you for your prayers. It definitely helps to know others are thinking of us. And we’ll send prayers your way as well.

  3. Abby

    April 21, 2013 at 3:39 am

    This is really a sweet – emotionally and tastefully – post.
    It is so hard to watch someone decline and listen to how afraid they are. I’m sure it’s a comfort to her knowing that you are all nearby and love her. The oatmeal creme pies were definitely baked with love, and I bet she knows.
    Sad but heartwarming at the same time. Hugs and prayers to you and Rose.

    • shadowrun300

      April 22, 2013 at 1:19 am

      It’s been especially difficult watching HER decline. She was so healthy and energetic for many years, and to get hit with this so suddenly and so soon after her husband’s death seems unfair. Her short-term memory is really fading as well, so that’s a major concern for my hubby. He has spent the last two nights over there, and just like with his dad, he’s finding he’s really enjoying the quality time. I’m so proud of him. Perhaps some pecan pie bars are in order….

  4. Rock Chef

    April 21, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    I am sure she knows how you feel. As you say, if the cakes didn’t do it the hug will certainly have done the trick. But I am sure that, over the years, you have shown some of the love that you feel for her.

    • shadowrun300

      April 22, 2013 at 1:22 am

      Perhaps I have, but of course, as things are nearing the end, I wonder if I should have shown her more. We’ve always gotten along, and I even bowled on a team with her for quite a few years. But you know, she’s not one to hug or express her feelings openly either, so maybe she really did understand.

  5. meleah rebeccah

    April 23, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Awwww. My heart breaks reading about your MIL Rose. I am sending good vibes her way. I love that you made those oatmeal creme pie cookies special for her and that she was able to enjoy them. xoxo

    • shadowrun300

      April 24, 2013 at 2:23 am

      My heart breaks for her too. She seems to be fading quickly, so we’re doing our best to make her happy and comfortable. Thanks for the good vibes!


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