Homemade Cookies From Mom

Oatmeal Cookie

Oatmeal Cookie

I’m now 28, living with my girlfriend Rosalie in a mid-rise apartment in Arlington VA

The year is 2001, I live just blocks from the Pentagon, the $31,000,000 dollar headquarters of the Department of Defense

I’m working as the Lead Hardware engineer at Raytheon in Falls Church VA, on a classified Department of Justice project

The infrequent stomach aches were a thing of the distant past

Long forgotten

Rosalie Zuniga Joel Sprechman

With Rosalie in the Poconos for New Years

I loved my job, my colleagues, our client, and the frequent travel to our nation’s top destination cities

Honolulu, New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Diego, Seattle piled on the frequent flier miles

Times Square to Fisherman’s Wharf, Sea Lions and Powell / Hyde cable car line

Hollywood Walk Of Fame to Hanauma Bay to the Sears Tower

Staying in San Francisco, I’d drive Lombard Street, the most crooked street in the world on my daily commute

Staying in Boston I’d walk through Faneuil Market on the way to work

Staying in New York City we’d walk by the Empire State Building, through China Town, or by the World Trade Center Twin Towers(R.I.P, including NYC Fireman Kevin Reilly from my childhood)

Philadelphia pretzels and cheese steaks, New York Pizza and Bagels, San Francisco Ghirardelli Chocolate

I explored this country, as a tourist, culturally and gastronomically while working a job that was fulfilling, contributing to our freedom and national security

My career allowed myself at home luxuries like throwing big birthday bashes with friends, a memory foam mattress, Season tickets to the Washington Nationals and Wizards, many trips to REI for outdoor gear and treating Mom to free trips with my frequent fliers miles to visit her family abroad and an Alaska cruise vacation

Mostly I build my savings. Perhaps intuitively I knew of the looming expensive roller coaster medical journey facing me shortly?

As a bachelor, living on my own for the first time, I was ecstatic when I saw a package for Mom at the doorstep

Mom learned to cook when she moved to this country from Israel in her early thirties, and loved to practice her craft

Inside were Oatmeal Cookies

My childhood favorite

Oatmeal Cookie

Actually, I preferred Strawberry shortcake, Cheesecake, Apricot cake, or Jewish seven layer cake.

But oatmeal cookies were the easiest to mail unrefrigerated

As I took one bite into the cookie, my body relaxed, my taste buds lit up like July 4th

Seconds later, I was in the bathroom, evacuating, number two

My mind was racing, spinning

What just happened

Did Mom’s cooking fail me?

For the next few days, both at home, and at work, anything I put into my mouth was immediately followed by a trip to my new favorite room in my home – the bathroom

Categories: Joel's Story.