On bad days, I think about her body lying in the hospital bed, wrapped up. Her abdomen huge from the tumour. Her skin so pale. My dad’s words catching in his throat when he called me. On good days, I think about baking with her.
I bake, and I feel close to her.
I remember showing off cracking eggs with one hand. Mashing bananas. Being so careful not to break the glass measuring cup. Using the old Sunbeam mixer and never being allowed to lick the batter (salmonella!) Discussing recipes. Scraping every last bit of batter into the pan under her eagle-eyed gaze. Playing piano to “help the cakes rise.” Oh, and the eating of course – often straight from the oven.
Her recipes were printed out with a dot matrix printer on paper that was perforated on both sides. She stored them on 3 1/2 inch floppy disks and used some ancient version of Microsoft Word to type them. The binder was several inches thick, and was updated often.
In our family, our legacies aren’t millions of dollars or a claim to fame. Some of them are in that binder; she lives on through them.