Unbelievably enough (considering that I have BEAT THE FATASS OF THAT BASTARD SPACE-TIME CONTINUUM and am only 27, myself) , my three beautiful babies are 27, 23, and 20…and every single Thanksgiving since their births, they have had this orange Jello salad sitting on their abundant plates, a dish that is TOTALLY a vestige of American, Mid-Century, Thanksgivings past.
It was, however, NOT by MY doing. This deliciousness — which is made up of orange Jello, mandarin oranges, pineapple, and bananas — was the creation of their beloved, wonderful Grandmother Bonnie…whose sole purpose in life was her kitchen, her cooking, and her lucky, lucky grandchildren. Additionally (and OF COURSE), on every Christmas dinner table sat this dish’s festive color-appropriate counterpart: RED Jello with strawberries and bananas. Over the years, she made EVERY single one of their holidays special, delicious, cozy, and memorable.
We unexpectedly lost Bonnie (who was my fabulous first husband’s mother) in May of last year — a profound loss that continues to reverberate throughout all of our lives, but especially so during The Holidays. The loss to her husband, Ray, her son, Dennis, her new daughter-in-law, Jerri, myself, my children, and everyone who ever knew her is INCALCULABLE, and facing yet another Thanksgiving without her is UNIMAGINABLE, particularly because her birthday itself randomly fell on Thanksgiving for so many years of our lives.
But, as we do in life, we shall push on, making new memories…and, in honor of her kind, loving, giving, cooking, baking, beautiful self…every year, I shall make this dish for my own Thanksgiving table…and when my children eat it, they will think of her and her great, great heart…which was so often expressed through her great, great cooking.
Happy Birthday, Sweet Bonnie Mae.
We miss you…and we remember you.
You are here.