Extreme and generally prolonged pain; intense physical or mental suffering. The struggle preceding natural death.
Two days before Christmas
We’re making spritz cookies, my husband and I, because it’s a Christmas tradition. First for me and my family, and now for our little family of two desperate to be three (and almost are).
My mom made dozens of these cookies each and every holiday. For us, for cookie swaps, for the hosts of the holiday parties we attended. She made trees and wreaths decorated with candy hearts and green sprinkles to make them look like holly.
My husband washes the cookies press in the sink and I take out the ingredients one by one lining them up in order on the kitchen counter, just the way mom taught me so many years ago.
Challenged by Alzheimer’s, my mom has silently, if unknowingly, passed the spritz cookie tradition on to me. I’m reluctant to embrace it without a child of my own to share it with.
My longing to be a mom has reached epic proportions, and the universe is dangling the carrot.
It’s so much less than certain, and though the doctor hasn’t crushed every last ounce of our hope, it’s highly unlikely the outcome we want so terribly is what time will bring.
Afraid to jinx any potential miracle, we don’t talk about it. But it’s always there, in our hearts and minds, in the cookie batter I stir furiously by hand.
I squeeze droplets of green food coloring into the blonde mound of butter, sugar and flour. My husband assembles the cookie press and fastens the tree disc.
He’s figured out how to push out a perfectly formed cookie without a branch or trunk sticking to the press.
This small feat is our Christmas miracle.