Today many people around the Twitterverse are honouring Alan Levine (aka @cogdog) and the recent passing of his mother. Alan’s mother was known as the “cookie lady” as every Sunday she baked chocolate chip cookies and delivered them to strangers and people she came in contact with that particular week. To show our support for Alan people are baking cookies and delivering them in her memory in what we are calling “cookies for Cog Dog”
I connected with Alan in Courtice just a few short hours before his mom’s passing. We talked about his parents (as it was the anniversary of his father’s death the day before) and before he left town, he picked up his last postcard (from Ontario) for his mom. He never had the chance to mail that postcard. My deepest condolences go to Alan and his family as they deal with the loss of such a special lady.
I wanted to participate in Cookies for Cog Dog for a few reasons. 1) I feel connected to this story as I just met Alan recently (and on the particular day of his mom’s passing), 2) my own family is dealing with health issues right now (and I’m a softy when it comes to my mom and dad, and 3) I have my own “cookie lady” that I want to honour and remember.
Joanne McDonald was a teacher friend of mine that I became very close with in a former work location. Joanne was the most compassionate and caring lady and had the biggest heart. She was the kind of person who had dealt with hardships in her life and always supported the underdog. Joanne used to make the best cookies and I was very fortunate to be one of her taste testers with each new batch. Now I love soft cookies, not the crumbly, hard kind, and Joanne’s cookies always melted in your mouth. She made great chocolate chip cookies, but it was her peanut butter cookies and short bread recipes that I always looked forward to. My dear friend Joanne suffered from a brain aneurysm a few years back and later died of a heart attack while in care. To this day I think of her often and one of the ways I choose to honour her memory is to make her shortbread cookie recipe each Christmas when my mom and I do our annual Christmas bake off. I’d love to include a photo of Joanne, but I am away from home where all of my photos of her are.
So today when I make ‘cookies for cog dog’ I will be making Joanne’s recipe. The recipients of these delicious treats will be the nurses at the hospital in Toronto where my dad is currently staying. These people work very hard to provide the best care for their patients in a system that has them over-worked and under-staffed. We have a history with this hospital as we spent 6 months here 17 years ago when my father had his car accident that left him a quadriplegic. So today, by participating in this event, I feel like I am pulling together a bunch of important people with one gesture.
Thanks health care professionals – my dad is very important to me.
Good-bye Cookie Ladies – you’ve forever left your marks in our hearts.