The Cookie Lady

The Cookie Lady

From Chicken Soup for the Military Wife's Soul

The Cookie Lady

Everything we say and do has an effect on the fabric of humanity.

Mahatma Gandhi

As the events of 9/11 unfolded on TV, I did not realize what that meant for our little military community in Mountain Home, Idaho. Within hours, our lives as we knew them changed drastically as word spread of the possible deployment of our squadron in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Within a week, that word came true, and members of our squadron began deploying.

For security reasons, spouses are not immediately told where their loved ones are going or for how long. The good-byes were especially hard as this was a “first” for many in our young squadron.

The day my husband left, I found a Baggie of cookies hanging on my mailbox. A note was attached with black and red ribbon, our squadron colors, which read: “Thinking of you, Linda!” As I looked at the note trying to recognize the handwriting, I turned it over and saw one of the squadron patches photocopied on the back and realized this person had gone to a bit of trouble to do this. I enjoyed every cookie and wondered who had thought of me.

As the first week went by and Friday was approaching, I was thinking about our first weekend without my husband and how lonely it would be for our children and myself. I woke up Friday to another Baggie of cookies! The note attached read: “Here’s a Friday cookie pick-me-up for you!”

By then, there was a rumor that a young captain’s wife in our squadron, Julie, was the one spreading good cheer to all the spouses in our squadron living on the base. We loved it! She was dubbed “The Cookie Lady.” Every Friday, there was a different kind of cookie hanging from my mailbox with a word of encouragement attached. I so looked forward to Fridays! Even my children would ask what kind of cookies I got today. That little gesture of kindness kept us all going in a time of uncertainty for our husbands as well as our nation.

Our spouses were deployed for four months, and, every Friday during that time, Julie baked and delivered cookies to the spouses. The last cookie delivery she made was to our husbands after they arrived home safely from the deployment. The note attached read: “We are proud of you and the job you’ve done to serve our country! Welcome home!”

Linda Valle

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