Mother’s Day Cheese – Grilled

grilled cheese, mothers and daughters“Sit down and don’t move.”

This is the first time in my life I can order my mom around, and she has to listen!

She sits on the couch, back against the long floral armrest, head against an added pillow, legs straight in front of her on the rest of the couch, more pillows raising her feet.

“But,” she protests, “I know where the butter is, and the pan to grill the bread. Don’t use the new tomatoes, use the ones in the vegetable bin, and I’m not sure if the cheddar cheese is on the left side of the refrigerator, or the bottom shelf, and…”

“Stop!” I command. “I can figure it out.”

I’m not a kid any more. In fact, I’ve raised children, now adults, who thrived on my cooking, but my mom still thinks I can’t make a grilled cheese sandwich without her help.

I take a deep breath and look at her sternly but lovingly. “You need to keep your feet up right now. You’ve just had hip surgery. I’ve driven six hours here to wait on you. Sit down and enjoy it!” I leave the room with a smirk.

Of course, five minutes later I’m cursing under my breath. Where the hell does she store her pans? Her apartment is small, her kitchen as tiny as an elf’s, and it has already taken me 4 minutes, 38 seconds to find a knife to cut the cheese. I open more cabinets and grit my teeth.grilled cheese, mothers and daughters

“The bottom of the stove,” mom shouts from the living room.

I open the drawer below the oven and sweetly shout, “Got it!” Why she couldn’t have told me that in the first place, I don’t know.  I whistle happily as I slice and melt the butter in the pan.

“Don’t use oil or that spray stuff, butter works best!” she suggests unnecessarily.

I walk briskly back into the living room. Tennis is on the T.V. “Thirty-love,” the commentator whispers excitedly. Yup, I think, it’s 30-0 right here, in this little apartment, and I’m the one not getting my serves in.

“Mom, luv,” I begin.

She looks up at me innocently. I walk over and fluff up the pillows behind her, check her water class. It could use more ice. “Yes?” she asks. “Do you need any help?”

“Not at all!” I answer. I pick up her glass and announce. “You need more water. Ten glasses a day – at least!” I bounce back to the kitchen and notice that the butter is turning brown. Whoops. As I add more ice to her glass, I throw some slices of bread in the pan. Race the ice water back to mom and her tray, then race back to the kitchen. Now the bread is turning brown, and I haven’t added the cheese yet. “Damn,” I shout out.

mothers and daughters, blog, hip replacementTwo seconds later, I hear the clip clip clip of her walker, and she is standing beside me, clucking and reaching out for the cheese, the butter, the tomato. In a span of three minutes, the smells of a toasty warm grilled cheese and tomato sandwich is wafting through the small three-room apartment.

“Yum!” she says, turning off the stove top. “Sit down and I’ll fix you a glass of iced tea. I’m starving, aren’t you?”

As she arranges a dish on her walker tray and sashays back toward the couch, I admit defeat, but also realize a cheery thought. She’s healing quite well, much faster than the doctor’s prediction.

Mother's Day, Mothers and DaughtersHappy Mother’s Day to those who nurture, and those who allow themselves to be nurtured by the woman who loves them best. Mother's Day

149 thoughts on “Mother’s Day Cheese – Grilled

    • Do you have grilled cheese there in England, Eric? Or are they called toasties? I vividly remember visiting an Australian friend who just moved to Boston when it was 90° outside and humid and she had no air conditioning and yet she insisted on making some toasties in her hot oven. 😎

  1. A heartwarming tale, Pam and one I’m sure will be familiar to many of us! 😀You both got the perfect cheese sandwich as your mother took charge! Strong willpower & spirit (and a daughter confused in ones kitchen!) can get you a long way … even out of bed against the doctor’s orders! Hugs xxx

      • Pam, the kitchen part and spirit of your mother really resonated with me. My mother still tells me where things are in the kitchen when I visited, moves me over to cut the bread if I’m helping! I just smile … it’s lovely! And I’m the same in my house …we are pecious of our homes! ❤️😀

  2. Such a sweet story, Pam! How come our mothers still know best? 😉 So glad to hear she’s healing up fast and is already on the move. Sending wishes for a speedy recovery her way. And I love all those lovely shots of the two of you! Happy Mother’s Day and a beautiful weekend! 😄❤

  3. I love the word ‘sashay’ and your mother made it come to life. Sometimes when we set out to take care of our first caretaker, the plan backfires. But the sandwich is a smashing success. Happy Mother’s Day to you and your lovely mother. ❤️ -Molly

  4. Leave it to Mom to get it done. I’d love to have a grilled cheese sandwich right about now–my mouth is watering! I hope you have a beautiful Mother’s Day, my friend. Enjoy it and bask in the love of your family. ❤

  5. What a sweet–and yummy post, Pam. I love grilled cheese with tomato. It sounds like you and your mother are much alike. 😉
    I hope she is doing well.
    Happy Mother’s Day to you and your mom!

    • Despite what I see as many differences, in the end there are more similarities between my mom and me-between probably most all mothers and daughters. Like her, I take my tomato with my grilled cheese. Like her, I have fresh flowers in my home every week. Like her, I read voraciously. And like her, I love my children to bits. Happy Mom’s Day to you, Merril. ❤️

  6. I’m smiling here. Some things are meant to be done by certain people– and one must learn to allow those people to do them. Great story that made me hungry.

  7. Are you trying to tell us your strongpoint is not cooking? LOL LOVED this post. And yes, once a Mum always one. And I am really happy your Mum is healing nicely. Good for her and Bless you for helping her out. (some!) LOL Happy Mother’s Day! 💝💝💝

  8. I am amazed at how fast people heal from those surgeries these days. There is a new technique that is less invasive and people are up and moving the next day. It’s wonderful your mom is doing so well!! And grilled cheese??? One of my all time favorites. We eat them with tomato soup in the south with a few pickle chips on the side. I know it may sound weird, but it works together. It is major comfort food for me because my grandmother used to make it for me all the time. That… and mac and cheese. Kraft! Right from the box! Memories… *sigh* ❤

    • Grilled cheese brings back so many memories for so many people. It’s just one of those comfort meals that can’t go wrong-unless you forget to turn that bread over in time! And yes, up in the Northeast grilled cheese and tomato soup with pickles on the side also is a great combination. Happy Mother’s Day, Courtney!

  9. I never met your mother but your stories make her seem bigger than life!!! Don’t you wish we could just twinkle our nose and go back to specific times with them My mom has been gone 18 years. She was and always will be the best mom!! Happy Mothrts Day Pam!!!

  10. Having recently helped my Mom through hip surgery I could picture every moment. I also have a strange craving for grilled cheese. Sending you hugs and warm wishes this weekend Pam.

    • I hope you’re able to soothe your craving for grilled cheese soon, Sue. And I hope your mom is walking around now in good shape. I’m sure she loved having your help. Or perhaps in some instances, she loved helping you! 🤗 Happy weekend! May all your snow be gone …

  11. What a sweet post, it brought back memories of my mom. There is nothing better than a grilled cheese sandwich. I like mine with ham and dipped in ketchup.

  12. Oh what a beautiful mother-daughter picture. Love your too true story. My family is giving me an 80th birthday party tomorrow at the club House here. I’m not supposed to do a thing, right. The party starts at 4 and over by 7. I’ve yet to get key for venue. Just a bit nervous. I’ll try to sit on my hands and feet just smiling. Happy Mother’s Day! Love Jeanette

    Sent from my iPad


    • I am smiling at your comments here, Jeanette. Perhaps reading my post before your party was a good reminder for you to sit on your hands and let your family do all the work celebrating your 80th birthday! 🎂 😘

  13. You are so lucky. Wish I still had my mom. I’d give anything to have instruct me on how to do something I already know how to do! 🙂 I didn’t appreciate it enough when she was here. Happy Mom’s Day to your sweet mother.

    • Ohh, Kate. I know what you mean. This post about my mom is about something that happened a few years ago. She’s unable to make a grilled cheese sandwich anymore, but she still knows I’m around when I pat her on the shoulder and tell her stories about our mother-daughter dynamic combination that got us into a lot of funny situations. Hugs to you. 💕

    • Happy Mother’s Day to you, Balroop. I made a Mother’s Day card for my mom with about a dozen photos of her and me throughout the years. I think it was even more a gift for me than for her. 💕

  14. What a beautiful memory of your Mom, Pam—I have such a vivid picture of your Mom quietly taking over without seeming to do so! I can smell that grilled cheese sandwich and now, I have a hankering for one too 🙂
    Happy Mother’s Day, Pam!

  15. Hehe. That’s funny. When I know my mom is watching over my shoulder, it seems I always make some mistake from the pressure.

    Happy Mother’s Day, Pam.

  16. Once a mother, always a mother. We don’t stop! Such a lovely story, Pam. Brings back memories. And, I love grilled cheese with a slice of tomato on it. I love the series of photos. I remember the Easter hats, dresses and white gloves. So many memories!

    • I bet that before long those Easter hats and white gloves will come back into style. Good taste always does. I wish you a good week with a gooey grilled cheese in your near future. With tomato 🍅🧀 💗

  17. Wonderful Mother’s Day story Pam, I love every bit about it.
    It is such fun when you get it all in a twist.😊 . Mother with her new hip rides to the rescue and all have yummie sandwiches.
    I like ve the expression how your Mom sashayed in with the dishes on her walker tray. With that wink in her eye, I can well believe it.


    • You make me laugh with your summary of my post. And you got it just right-my mom did ride in to the rescue with her walker and her attitude. 😄 Happy weekend to you! 💚

  18. What a wonderful sharing of your time with Mom. I still think back to a time my dad got on my nerves when he was no longer able to drive, so he would be a horrible “front seat” driver. But now I realize it was just his sadness at being so physically limited. I wish I could have a do-over. I think it’s great you “let” her commandeer the grilled cheese process. – Marty

    • Well, I wish I could say I was wise, but truly my mom didn’t give me any chance to do anything BUT let her take over! She’s always been the boss in our family. 😁 Yes, our perspective of things sure does change as we get older and look back at how our parents struggled, maybe in ways we did not understand.

  19. As I am here visiting my elderly parents in the U.S. I can oh so relate to this vignette. My mom is enjoying telling me how to do things ( bossing me around) and I am doing my best to be helpful and supportive. ( Not so easy as I am not partial to being told what to do…) Beautifully written and the photos are classic!


    • Ohhh, Peta. You are being such a good daughter. You used exactly the right word (I’m whispering it here – our moms like to BOSS us around). And when we let them, we earn extra halos… 🙂

  20. Hee hee. Moms will be moms. I love how she asserts her mom-ness. And the pictures through the ages are wonderful. My mom will be here soon for 3 weeks and my guess is that she’s going to dote and give me lots of advice, because of course, we’re still kids, Pam. Happy Mother’s Day.

    • THREE WEEKS??? Oh, my friend, you are an angel. I love my mom to bits, but after three days, I’m pounding my head on the walls. But, truly, I love (and miss) her doting and caring and ….dare I say it, bossing. ❤ Best of luck to you. Hope we get to read about your mom/daughter escapades in a post or two.

      • Thanks, Pam. Yes, my folks can be a little trying too. My parents cancelled at the last minute due to health issues. (They fell down the escalator at the airport and decided they just can’t travel). I couldn’t cancel our beach house rental (bad) so we’re going anyway (good). Later this summer the whole gang will go to see them in Colorado (I’m already exhausted!) Never a dull moment! Have a great weekend. 😀

        • Oh. No. That’s such a disappointment, for them and for you. Makes me sad. Glad you’ll still get to the beach house. Write. (And maybe you’ll come back to us here in the blogosphere earlier than you thought.)

  21. This was wonderful, Pam! Moms – we so have to cherish them while we have them. And yours is obviously a little spitfire so she’s not done showing you up 😉
    Happy Mother’s Day to you as well!

    • No truer words were spoken (written), Dale. My mom is failing, slowly, but her grit is keeping her going, and she’s definitely not one to “go quietly into that good night.” To our moms – cheers!

  22. Oh Pam, what a lovely story. As a mother, I understand your mother and as a daughter, I understand you. I’ve been where you’re standing now, and heaven help my sons if I sit in your mother’s chair. Love and hugs. Happy Mother’s Day to you and your mom.

  23. Oh gosh this makes me chuckle as I see some similarities with my own mom and I 😉 I’m glad it was a yummy lunch in the end… and even more happy that she’s healing well xo Happy Mother’s Day!

  24. I love this. I remember when my mom wasn’t feeling well during Christmas, so my sister and I tried to do the gravy (unsuccessfully). She just came right up and whisked it all together in a matter of minutes. The woman couldn’t go out to get her own mail, but God forbid anyone mess up her gravy recipe!! 🙂

  25. A lovely tribute to the strength and resilience of your mother Pam! Mothers never stop being mothers, do they? And I do LOVE a nice grilled cheese sandwich!

    • And aren’t we lucky, that mothers never stop being mothers? When I try to stop my mom from bossing me around, I realize that’s just plain silly. She IS the boss, so go with the flow! 🙂

  26. First, I’d have to read anything with grilled cheese in the title. 🙂 Second, just a great mom/daughter story. I can relate. And I recall the frustration of finding nothing where I expected it would be in my mom’s kitchen back then either. You acceded gracefully; Mom felt useful.

    • At the time, I admit, I just felt frustrated at not being allowed to help the way I wanted to. But in hindsight, you are absolutely correct. Our moms want to always feel like they’re our —- moms — and that their talents are still needed.

  27. LOL 🙂 Beautiful Pam. I certainly know I’m far more comfortable waiting on than being waited on, so I do sympathise with your mother, though of course she needs to rest. I’m very glad she’s healing faster than the doctor’s predicted. I’m sure having you there is a big part of it – even if what does her the most good…is waiting on you 🙂 Much love to you both, H xxx

    • Weirdly, I don’t think I’d have a tiny bit of problem letting someone make me lunch and a glass of iced tea. Oh. Wait. That’s what my MOM does for me as often as possible. 🙂 xo

  28. Honestly, I had to laugh at this sweet story! I could picture every move on both your parts. I wonder what we’ll be like when we are as old as our mothers? I often think about that when my mom is a little challenging to me in her idiosyncrasies. I hope I will be able to “receive” from my children, and I guess I also hope my children will still want to “give” to me. 🙂 Your photos are so sweet, Pam. I’m so glad you shared.

    • Believe me, I know that my daughter is watching the relationship between my mom (her grandmother) and me. I want my daughter to “be” there for me, no matter how challenging I may be. So far, she tells me she’s up to the challenge. :–)

      • We have these same conversations at my home. I have a wonderful son, but somehow I feel it’s my daughter who will probably have to “deal” with me. We laugh about it now, but we’ll see. Ha!

  29. A simple sandwich but it has to be made just right…my grandsons love my grilled cheese. The secret is I add a bit of mayo to the bread along with the butter. It makes the sandwich crispy on the outside but soft on the inside. Of course, they wouldn’t even touch it if they knew that…
    Your Mom sounds like she is recovering very nicely and so good that you can be with her. BTW…I love her little cable sweater…looks so good on her also. I hope you know how blessed you are to still have her in your life…somehow though, I think you have figured that out…
    Happy belated Mother’s Day to both of you.

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