… from the bungalow

The Best Birthday Present My Mom Ever Gave Me


This is my mom. Isn’t she beautiful?

This is her first Mother’s Day since being diagnosed with ALS. That also means it’s the first Mother’s Day I’ve really, truly struggled with. Lots of folks are estranged from their mothers or have lost them. Two of my mom’s sisters passed away years ago, and I’ve always felt a sort of sympathetic loss for my cousins on Mother’s Day, but I can’t know their pain. My siblings, cousins and I also lost our grandma last summer. She was a second mom–and in some ways a more “real” mom–to my cousins, and now they’ve lost her. It’s devastating.

I can’t bear the thought of losing my mom. So rather than focusing on the negative, I did something this morning that I thought would help bridge the physical distance between us; something she taught me; something that represents to me sweetness, thoughtfulness and love.

I made no-bake cookies.

Rows of perfectly imperfect no-bake cookies.

Rows of perfectly imperfect no-bake cookies.

For so many of my elementary school years, I brought a big Tupperware container filled with these cookies to school to share with my classmates on my birthday. As an adult, I botched many, many batches of this simple recipe trying to perfect it when I missed my mom and needed that sense of comfort. I’ve tried adding my own touches over the years, but I’ve returned to my mom’s basic, tried-and-true recipe. The soft, semi-dry texture of the sugary chocolate, oats and peanut butter take me back to those chilly almost-spring days of my childhood.

Feelings of sharing with friends and being in the spotlight for a moment wash over me. I was stiflingly shy when I was young, and I didn’t have many friends. But on my birthday, everyone was my friend. That was a gift to me from my mom. More than any toy my parents may have bought for me on my birthday, I hold this gift dearest.

Thank you, Mom, for this and so much more. Happy Mother’s Day. I love you.


Friends, do you have a comfort food? A special way of honoring your mom on Mother’s Day? Anything else you want to share? Leave a comment! I love to read them.


Author: Chris

Introspection to a fault. College administrator, parent, soapmaker.

18 thoughts on “The Best Birthday Present My Mom Ever Gave Me

  1. very touching. I loved all of my mom’s cooking, but Potato soup is the thing I loved most and while I enjoy cooking I cannot get mine to be the same. The one thing was rare treat was homemade pizza that I can replicate and do often. Now I think I will whip up some no bakes 😉

  2. This is so sweet. :). What is the recipe? I am actually estranged from my mom (bad substance abuse issues). But I still to this day eat the same birthday cake she made me as a kid every year on my birthday. :). It still fills my insides with yum….

  3. My mom would make stuffed shells. When I eat them I feel like I am home. Also, I cannot eat a bread pudding without thinking of her! The funny thing is my mother did not start cooking until I was well into my teens. Before that it was TV dinners! I am glad she decided to try it!

  4. That was really awesome, Chris. I had never had chocolate no-bakes until your mom and I were dating. Some other firsts at Mama’s house were plum pudding with hard sauce, bread pudding, fried carrots, and hamburger gravy. It’s pretty amazing how our brains remember tastes and smells.

    • Thanks, Dad! It is amazing! I may have to make some sh*t on a shingle (hamburger gravy on toast, of course) one of these weekends and see how the boys like it. I’ll pass on the carrots, though. Blech.

  5. Thanks, Chris! Tears kind of escaped my eyes! Oh, and the cookies look perfect.

  6. Awe, so sweet (literally and figuratively). I think it’s awesome that you hold your mom so dear. I, too, love my mom to pieces, and this is the first Mother’s Day in 15 years I have not been with her-not because I didn’t want to, but for reasons beyond my control. It was a touch Mom’s Day all the way around for me-had the flu, and I’ve been grieving a bit the “loss” of certain things with my daughter since her Anxiety Disorder has gripped our home. Anyhow, favorite mom food? Her homemade pizza! She used to make it on sleepover Fridays with my bff and also every year for my birthday. I’ve never tried to make it, though, as I love to hold the memory just as it is (and still can be sometimes when we visit). Hope your mom is doing okay, Chris, and thanks for this wonderfully touching post. XOXO

  7. Mac ‘n cheese – which neither Mom nor I eat since we separately discovered issues with gluten. But now that’s something else we share…

    • Mmm… Mac ‘n cheese. Sorry to learn about your gluten issues. Seems to happen a lot these days. Rice pasta just isn’t the same! (My son is on a gluten-free [among other things] diet.) But you’ve found the silver lining in that. Nice.

  8. My mother was a wonderful cook. We lost her 13 years ago. It seems like yesterday. She made a clam chowder that was top notch.

Reply away!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s