“Cookies for Charlie,” Friend, July 2011, 8–9
Mom slumped onto a kitchen chair and sighed.
“What’s wrong, Mom?” Megan asked.
“Oh, I’m just frustrated,” Mom said. “I keep trying to visit teach Sister Raymond, but I can’t even get past the front door.”
“Why not?” Megan asked.
“Sister Raymond’s husband isn’t a member of the Church, and he doesn’t like it when we visit his wife. Sometimes she talks to us through the screen door for a few minutes, but today she wouldn’t even do that.”
Megan gave Mom a hug. She didn’t like seeing her so sad. Then she ran to the kitchen and brought back a warm sugar cookie for Mom.
“Thanks, sweetie. You always know how to make people feel better.”
On Saturday morning, Megan walked into the kitchen just as Mom was hanging up the phone.
“That was the Relief Society president,” Mom said. “She just heard that Sister Raymond had an operation yesterday and has to stay in the hospital for a few days. She wanted to let me know since I’m Sister Raymond’s visiting teacher.”
“Are you going to go visit her?” Megan asked.
“Yes, this afternoon. I’m going to pick some flowers from the garden to brighten up her hospital room.”
As Mom went outside with the clippers, Megan thought about poor Sister Raymond. Then she thought about Sister Raymond’s husband, having to sit alone in an empty house every night. Suddenly she had an idea.
That afternoon, Megan followed Mom into the hospital room. A tired-looking woman was sitting up in bed, and a man with a sad, serious face sat next to her.
“Hello, Sister Raymond,” Mom said. “This is my daughter, Megan. We hope you’re feeling better.” She handed her a pink and red bouquet.
“Oh, how nice!” Sister Raymond said. “I love flowers. This is my husband, Charlie,” she said, squeezing his hand.
“Then these are for you,” Megan said, giving him a covered plate.
“For me?” he asked. He peeked under the foil. “Sugar cookies!”
“I thought you might not feel so lonely if you knew someone was thinking of you.”
“Thank you, Megan. That’s very kind,” he said. And he smiled.
On Tuesday they went back to the hospital. When they got to Sister Raymond’s room, Charlie grinned and said, “There’s our little cookie maker! I was hoping you would come see us again.”
Megan kept the Raymonds laughing with stories about fifth grade; her pet rabbit, Mr. Twinkles; and her little brother, Ian. When it was time to go, Charlie put his hand on her shoulder.
“Megan, I hope the two of you will stop by again soon,” he said.
“But you’ll be leaving tomorrow,” Megan said.
“So come to our house!”
“Of course. Thoughtful young ladies and their moms are always welcome. And thank you again for the cookies. They were the best I’ve had in ages. What’s the secret ingredient?”
“There isn’t one,” Megan said, but she smiled to herself. Maybe a little love made cookies sweeter.
“Well, they were delicious. But, you know, my favorite are chocolate chip,” Charlie said with a wink.
Megan smiled. “Then I guess I’ll be baking again soon!”