I made an off-handed comment about these new Air-Bake cookie sheets and thought nothing more of it.
In February of 1991, I flew home again, intending to stay for Mom's funeral. It was exhausting, spending so much time at the hospital, and I think it's because I had already started the grieving process.
As she lay, weak and bald and having decided she wasn't going through a fourth chemo treatment, Mom, with her eyes closed, said to me, "In the hall closet, on the right-hand side on the floor is your birthday present."
She was facing the end of her life, but during the precious 9 months of remission she was allowed, she wanted to have ready a birthday present for me.
This was not the time for me to be selfish, and I felt a little uncomfortable mentioning my present to my dad and siblings. But sure enough, in the hall closet, on the right-hand side on the floor rested 2 Air-Bake cookie sheets.
They're a little warped and scorched but I wouldn't dream of replacing them. They were the last physical gift my dear mother gave me and no matter how worn they get they will always be dear to me.
I write this entry as my 52nd birthday approaches. I'm twice as old as I was when Mom passed away. I think of her often, including any time I use my Air-Bake cookie sheets. I like to think she would be proud of me for how I turned out; happily married, fulfilled my life's dream of becoming a published (award winning!) author--what more could I ask for?