Monday, April 21, 2008

Paradise Bakery

The Paradise Bakery sign at the mall made my heart sink. "Didn't all of these bakeries close down?" I thought to myself. Like a magnet, this corner food spot with the fresh baked goods draws me near. As my feet lead me to the bakery, my mind transports me back to my past, twenty-five years, fifteen years, even ten years ago and I'm walking up to a Paradise Bakery with my mom.

My mom didn't enjoy shopping, least of all mall shopping. She was one of those people who knew exactly what what they are looking for and were in and out in a flash. She always shopped with a purpose.

The Paradise Bakery was one of the few detours she'd allow herself to take. It was their sugar cookies that seemed to call her name every time. Happy the child who was shopping with her that day. They always benefited from her one mall addiction.

The Paradise Bakery was appropriately named because one bite of these sugar cookies and you were transported into cookie paradise. Bigger than the palm of your hand with a soft almost doughy texture, the scent of vanilla and the gentle dusting of fine sugar became our one mall indulgence.

Brought back to reality, the clerk, inquires what I would like. I overindulge and ask for six sugar cookies. "I can't wait to let my children try one and surprise my sister Jennifer with a couple." I think to myself.

My mom has been gone almost eight years now. I do the math as I walk away, quickly digging in the bag for my special treasure. I feel a lump form in my throat. I begin to chew, my eyes open wide...the taste is not the same. Where is the delicious flavor? It smells the same, it looks the same...

But it's not the same.

My mom is no longer here to share one with me.

I remind myself that God's word says that in Heaven we will one day eat together at His banquet table. For the moment hope holds back my tears, as I wonder what my mom is doing right now.

I can't help but think that maybe, just maybe, mom is enjoying a sugar cookie at the ultimate "Paradise Bakery". Possibly waiting until that day when she can share one again with me.



13 comments:

Charlotte said...

What precious sentiments you expressed. Those Paradise bakeries do have awfully good cookies. The memories you have are priceless. My mother and I used to like to go to Shakey's Pizza parlor for Bunch a lunch when she was alive. Shakey's has been gone for years and so has my mother but I have wonderful memories.

Cheri said...

Joanne,
What a beautiful post. I've lost my mom too and there are just certain times when it really just hits you and feels like it just happened.
Thanks for sharing that post- even if it did make me cry!!

Amy said...

Joanne,

Your stories are wonderful. While I am not familiar with Paradise Bakeries, I can still relate to the memory thing. Sometimes just a smell or taste can make me think of my grandmother - she is the only person with whom I was close that I have lost. It is nice to have very fond and dear memories of our loved ones. Thanks for sharing your story.

Amy

Beth said...

What a touching post. You will certainly share another cookie with her one day! And it will be the sweetest thing ever!

Jess said...

Such a sweet tribute to your mother, Joanne. And I can certainly understand how it wouldn't be as good as you remember. Much more is tied to our memories than we even realize. I feel certain you'll be sharing in all kinds of good things again together one day!

~jessica

Mari said...

I've never heard of Paradise Bakery, but my Mom's been gone almost 5 years now and I know what you mean about those memories. My Mom is in that ultimate "Paradise Bakery" too and it's such a blessing to know that that good bye is not forever!

elizabeth embracing life said...

Thanks for sharing this special memory with your mother. One day you two will share more sugar cookies.

Rebekah said...

I still think some days "Hey, I haven't talked to Dad in a while. Maybe I should give him a call" Then I remember that he's not here. He is sitting next to Jesus.

Kim said...

Joanne~
Wow...what an amazing post. Isn't it sweet comfort to know your Mom is resting in Jesus' arms!!!!

Blessing to you sweet friend.

Kim~

connorcolesmom said...

That was so touching!
I know that your mom is enjoying the true paradise bakery as you said and one day we will all dine together - isn't that a great thought!
Have a sonderful day!
Kim

Terri said...

I'm in agreement with Mari and Cheri. We still miss our Mom!

Becoming Me said...

Thank you for sharing your heart and some of your mother in this precious post

Lisa writes... said...

What a beautiful and poignant post. Praise God, we do not grieve as those who have no hope! Rejoicing even in our sorrow is surely one of the mysteries of our faith, yet our God makes it possible...

Thanks for your recent visit and comment on my site. I look forward to being blessed by one so blessed!

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