I hurried up the steps and turned the brass knob. The smell hit me immediately. The beautiful smell of my aunt's baking. I could feel my mouth start to water. I closed the door behind me and pulled my raspberry wool coat off. I didn't care if it touched the floor or Sparky sniffed or licked it. I just needed to get into the kitchen. Into the warm, flour covered arms of my Aunt Lina. She was the one person who made me feel grown up, even when I wasn't. She turned away from the sink as soon as I pushed the door open. Today, Aunt Lina was making my - our - favourite cookies, double chocolate peanut butter. Every Friday, instead of walking home, I walked to Aunt Lina's house from school. I'd sit at the old oak table and watch her bake. My hands would trace the lines of the beautiful table while I listened to Aunt Lina's mesmerizing voice tell stories of her childhood. As I grew up, I didn't have to go to Aunt Lina's every Friday but I did. I wasn't willing to give that time up. Eventually I moved away to college. And while I was there, Aunt Lina died. My mom told me she had been sick and was in a better place now. I didn't come home for her service. I couldn't.
I remember that last delicious bite of cookie I had my last time with Aunt Lina. It was chocolate almond. Aunt Lina had been craving nuts that day. I haven't been back to Aunt Lina's house since that day. I pass her house every time I go home. About once a month or so. I think about stopping. About visiting Uncle Ed. But I don't. I never feel like its the right time. Are you ever scared that something so dear and close to your heart, something so completely and utterly special, might have changed while you weren't looking? I want to remember the feeling of Aunt Lina's arms, the smell of her baking. I want to remember the kitchen, her kitchen.