Monday, March 19, 2012

Pineapple-Upside-Down Cake

I'm not giving you directions for a cake, but a recipe for pineapple-upside-down cake appeared on the Allrecipe page for today, and it reminded me of my mother Lillian and part of something I wrote the year she died.  Sometimes you have to be reminded of the good times. 

As a child, you were my shining light
With your long, dark hair that curled around.
"She's so pretty," the kids said in my 2nd grade class
When you came to visit,
Bringing along with you your big, bright, red-lipstick smile.
When I broke the new lamp
And hid under the bed all day,
I hoped you wouldn't be mad at me,
But instead you said, "I never did like that lamp anyway."
Remember the walks to and from the State and Palace theatres on Saturday night?
Sometimes you treated us to hamburgers, fries, and a cherry Coke, and
We stopped at Walgreen's to get the 3 for 25 cents candy bars--
me with black licorice or Dots.
Afterwards, we always walked home under the stars, and
I silently prayed we'd make it safely home past dark Buffington Park.
Your best fare was breakfast every morning before school--
French toast, oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, or a poached egg.
Then came some Sundays with your fried chicken, coleslaw, and mashed potatoes.
Pineapple-upside-down cake was your favorite homemade dessert.
When I became a mother myself, you were there
To help me with my first, second, and third,
Letting me feel all was okay, helping me make up my new routine.
I finally felt safe in motherhood.
I use to think the good times were going to a party, a wedding, a vacation,
Having a new outfit, or another bracelet.
Then I discovered too late that
It was the small things.
Those were the good times.
Why couldn't we have had more of the small things?


  1. What a wonderful tribute to your mother. It truly is the little things isn't it. It's those little things that crop up day to day that really bring back memories of loved ones. They come upon us so unexpectedly....

  2. Yes, it would be lovely to have more of those small things with the ones we love...when we look back it is the small things that mean so much.

    Pineapple upside down cake is one of my mom's specialties, too.

  3. This is beautiful and I hope one day when my daughter thinks of me she will think of the small things I did and shared with her. To be one's shining light...amazing!

  4. Tam, this is lovely. I'm glad to have had the chance to read it. Your slices have been something I look forward to each day.

  5. Wow. Just wow. "I finally felt safe in motherhood." What a line.

    This poem is such a special way to remember so many small things!

  6. Hi book club friend!

    Love the ending line. Reminds me of a lot of the books we cherish what's in front of us.

    How many hours were you under the bed?