Posted by: thewoobdog | May 9, 2012

The Cookie Lady

I just got a call from my grandmother that a dear friend of hers had passed on, and I could not let this event pass without a small tribute to her life.

Gloria Krebs was my grandmother’s neighbor when I was very young, and I remember spending summers at my grandmother’s and visiting “the Cookie Lady” who lived in the townhouse next door.  Although three decades have passed, I can still remember the spicy-sweet aroma that lay over every surface of her home like a handmade quilt and wafted from her door in a welcoming hug.  Such confectionary delights as my childish palate had never before tasted would be unveiled from the depths of her kitchen – spicy round cookies hiding Hershey’s kisses under their crispy exterior or buttery wafer-thin cookies made with the smallest bits of chocolate I’d ever seen.  It was a rare treat and I don’t recall visiting often, but every time I did she made me feel like the most important visitor she’d ever had (which did not seem at all unusual to my four-year-old self, but which bespeaks considerable tolerance and kindness in retrospect).

I have seen her once in the many years that have passed since she and my grandmother were neighbors, but I have thought of her dearly and often. She and my grandmother have kept in touch, and a few years ago we found out she was fighting breast cancer. My mom and grandmother visited her not long ago and she took them on a tour of Baltimore, visiting shops and neighborhoods and reminiscing about her life and the friends she’d made along the way as if saying her final goodbyes. Although she was already in a great deal of pain and had been moved to Hospice care, she remembered the little girl that used to visit her for treats and she made my grandmother take her all the way across the city so she could send back a bakery box of cookies for me, saying they were as close to her own as she’d ever found.

Her fight ended today and she is at peace. I will grieve for the Cookie Lady, with her fiery hair and huge laugh, but she will live on in my memories until we meet again.

“For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity.” ~ William Penn


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