The other day my daughters and I made cookies. We always use my mom’s recipe cause it’s the best. As the kitchen filled with laughter, the sweet smell of vanilla sugar, and flour clouds I felt so much joy. With the cookies in the oven and my girls playing upstairs I stood at the counter staring at my mom’s handwriting as tears filled my eyes. I began to think about my mom and how much I miss her and her cookies.
Then, like I had been hit with a brick, I realized I have no memories of making cookies with my mom as a child. I know cookies were made. My dad had a massive sweet tooth and I remember her making cookies almost every week since I was about 14. So where did those memories go?
I was brought back to reality by the girls running into the kitchen as the sweet sugar cookie smell floated upstairs. My happy, beautiful, healthy, safe little girls who don’t have a care in the world. The complete opposite of my childhood filled with fear, insecurity, terror.
I got thinking about it later that night. I have glimpses of happy times. My dad teaching me how to ride the bike of my dreams in the alley behind our sporting goods store. Playing baseball as a family in the big field and having a barbeque with mom’s yummy potato salad. Me burning my marshmallows no matter how hard I tried not to. I would still eat them. Helping my dad at the store and the look of pride on his face when at 5 I could calculate the sales tax in my head.
Trauma is a funny thing. It has taken things from me I don’t even realize, like the happy memories. I didn’t get to pick and choose what was lost. Thankfully, as I have been uncovering the painful memories the joyful ones are being brought to light too.