Me: (Driving mom to Circle Center Adult Daycare) That damn car almost hit us, mom!
Mom: That damn car!
Me: Did you say damn?
Mom: Yes I did.
Me: I am shocked … my mom says damn!
Mom: I say it sometimes. (Pause) A lot of times. I like to say damn.
Me: What else do you like to say?
Mom: Hell. I say hell all the time. Like, oh hell. Or, Helen Bolin.
Me: Helen Bolin?!
Mom: Helen Bolin. She was a good cook. I loved her. My daddy said she was the best cook in the United States of America.
Me: You remember Helen Bolin? She’s been in the land of angels for a long, long time. But, damnit to hell … I remember her, too!
Note: Helen Bolin was the “house maid and cook” for my grandfather from when mom was in her early teens to when I was seven or eight.
I called her “Henen” as a little guy, and I can remember the warmth of her hugs to this day. Oh, and her homemade rolls … they were the best damn rolls in the United States of America.
It’s funny how memory works. I have not heard mom, or anyone for that matter, mention Helen Bolin in ages. But, the second she did, my first thought was, pass the rolls!
I could see them being served in a baking pan, right out of the oven.
I could feel the heat as I grabbed for the biggest roll with both of my hands.
The only way I could describe the smell would be heavenly, and the taste … hot, buttery, golden perfection!
I could hear my voice as a kid say, “Pass me another one of “Henen’s” rolls, please … please … please.”
My brain was filled with thoughts of Helen Bolin … long gone, but at this moment in time, not forgotten.
Hopefully Helen is looking down from on high and accepting my long overdue compliments.
“Henen,” just know that when the rolls are called up yonder, I’ll be there.
That is if swearing within earshot of your ninety-four year old mom doesn’t keep you from entering the pearly gates.
Time will tell.