My Grandma lived in Baltimore city, Maryland, in a row house. Row houses are famous for being taller than they are wide, and Grandma's house was no exception. Tall ceilings, big floor to ceiling windows, and a red and white checkered floor in the kitchen were familiar sights to my six-year-old eyes.
On top of her refrigerator that was covered from top to bottom with magnets from Ocean City Maryland and pictures of me in silly poses and various stages of growth, sat THE COOKIE JAR. When I was small, I used to pull a kitchen chair over to the refrigerator so that I could reach the cookie jar. She always acted as if she did not know what I was doing, but now that I am older, I am sure she secretly watched to make sure I did not fall or tip over. When I grew a little older, she would simply smile that gorgeous 500-watt smile of hers, and incline her head towards the top of the refrigerator. That was my personal invitation to partake of the delights of the cookie jar- now that I was a grown young person of 12 and could reach it on my tiptoes. That cookie jar sat in the same spot for at least 30 years, and when my grandma finally died from a long and tiring battle lost to Alzheimer's disease, my mother made sure it came to live with me.
Grandma and I used to eat lunch at her little kitchen table and watch the birds and her roses from the kitchen window. Her kitchen was on the second floor, and she had a 2- story trellis upon which grew the most wondrous and fragrant roses. I miss the kitchen that was tall and smelled of roses in the summer, with the radio and its red and white floor.
Someone else lives in my Grandma's house now, and eats in that kitchen. They tore down her trellis and dug up her roses. They are someone who, like my Grandma at the end of her life, does not know about the cookie jar or the Granddaughter who adored the woman so that filled it with not only cookies, but also Love.