In May of 2012, we celebrated what would be my grandmother’s last Mother’s Day. In late June of 2012, less than two months shy of her 86th birthday, she boarded the minibus to the Senior Citizen’s center (to ‘play piano for the old ladies’) and went straight to heaven instead. It wasn’t until preparing to deliver the eulogy at her funeral that the full depth of her impact, her life and her love became truly evident.
In the quietness of the void she left in our family and her community, we were brought face-to-face with how her open heart, open door and gratitude for what very little she and grandpa had in the way of earthly provisions had set the course for our entire existence as individuals.
One thing grandma did have was her own home. This was mostly thanks to the talent, frugalness and sheer hard work of my grandfather who built it. She had her own kitchen that showcased daily not only her skill for keeping a family fed, but for creating baked treats for anyone who came through her door. Her cookies were the mainstay of the baking inventory and in the days after she passed we found out just how far those cookies reached and how deeply they took root in generations of people that she fed and touched.
Her offer of a cookie was her way of thanking you for visiting, for connecting, for sharing…for being. The varieties of mostly round delicious offerings transferred the essence of her, through the warmth of her hand and her heart, to anyone who would accept her offer.
As we near the fourth anniversary of grandma’s passing, we’re summoning her true nature and sharing what we hope will be an ongoing series and conversation: Thankful Tuesday, Grandma’s Gratitude In Action. But more important than marking her leaving, we’re celebrating her extraordinary (and extraordinarily humble) life by launching a new venture on her 90th birthday (August 9th, 2016). My Grandma Baked A Cookie is our way of bringing her delicious cookies (and other baked goodness) to a larger audience — those who didn’t have the great joy of being served personally in her kitchen. Her kitchen is now coming directly to you and everything is heartmade.
As a result of this venture, I was fortunate to be interviewed by Molly Ford Beck for the Forbes #TwoInboxes podcast. We chatted about grandma’s legacy, her cookie brand and how I’m juggling (and planning to juggle) my “side hustle” with my demanding day job in advertising. Check out the interview here or on iTunes. Stay tuned for Thankful Tuesday and other honest glimpses behind the scenes, where the true passion, pain and learning of a small business live.