Pressing the dough that makes the base of Grandma’s Lemon Cookie Bars into the 9 x 13 pan a couple of weeks ago was just as maddening as I remembered. Each time I made them I was convinced there wasn’t enough dough to cover the bottom of the pan. Using my hands only made the task more frustrating, want as not, the dough loved to stick to my fingers. I opted for using the back of my 1/4 cup aluminum measuring scoop instead. It didn’t speed up the process much, but at least it felt more efficient.

Baking, especially one of Grandma’s recipes, often leads me down the rabbit hole of Grandma memories. The arduous task of pressing the base of these cookies into the pan lead me to think back to the last time I spoke to Grandma. I mean spoke with Grandma. When was it? Before dementia took its toll. In her last year I often didn’t even get to talk with her when I called the care facility where she lived. I could hear her angrily refusing to talk to the someone on the phone she didn’t know (me), followed by a polite, “She doesn’t want come to the phone right now. I’m sorry.” If time and opportunity allowed I would ask questions about how Grandma was doing, which was often met with stories of how she spent her day and always a comment about how sweet she was.

So when was it? I don’t exactly know when. Which lead me to this….


When did you
When did I
Say good-bye?

Was it a Sunday 
Or somewhere in between?

Between a glimmer and the gaps
You slipped
I slipped 
Further away

Further away 
From us
From who you knew
From me
From who we were

You were lost
I was lost

From you
From me

A stranger

No longer
Or Me
Your first
Your granddaughter

Just a stranger 
On the phone

February 2007

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