My Grandmother, Annette Conlon, passed away one year ago today. I made a little sketch of how I remembered her when I was young - she was always a gentle, loving presence in my life and used make one of my favorite treats, corton. It's a cooked pork spread that she used to serve on a slice of Wonder Bread. My family joked that it looked, smelled and tasted (according to them) like dogfood. I didn't mind at all, I was the kid that stole and ate the dog's milkbones. Corton would be what my younger self is eating there - it's very rough and I want to clean and color it.
When I was in college, she and I promised to make corton together at her house. Unfortunately, I couldn't make the time for the hour and a half trip to see her before she went into an assisted living home. This was because of the onset of Alzheimer's, so she did not have a kitchen of her own. We never got to make it together. But when I was going through some of her belongings this past December, I unearthed a hand-written recipe for corton which I assume she had written up for when I was to come visit, before she moved to the home. It was painful for me to read it, once i realized it's purpose. Her handwriting was shaky by then and some words were missing from her sentences. It was very painful to watch her slip away so slowly over those years at the home and it was even worse for her, because for a time she knew that she was losing her mind and couldn't stop it. But even when she slipped away and couldn't recognize her family anymore, she sort of regressed to being a child again; always bright, smiling and took to caring for a baby doll at the nursing home. The doll never left her side.
She named the doll Stephanie.
This is for you, Grandma. I love you.
I invite you to make a donation of any amount to the Alzheimer's Association. I made one today in her honor.