Thursday, May 14, 2009

Meatball for breakfast

My mother should include "efficiency expert" in her resume. Quick, to the point, not wasting any time, tell it like it is ... all those things add up to "her". She even had my brother pack up all my Dad's things to donate within days of the funeral. I had to act real quick to get a scarf and a couple of ties as keepsakes. Mom had saved a few little trinkets for the kids, stuff that Dad had picked up from their many cruises that she had never cared for (Mom, remember, she's not all that sentimental or nostalgic). But other than that, and the most treasured of things that she kept for herself, most of it was toted away.

I suppose it was part of her dealing with the craziness of everything. She was still in a dream state, partially planted in reality, the other part of her still reeling in the thunder clouds.

So along those lines, Mom cleared up her pantry before she went for her month long trip to Hong Kong. And she passed me this:

Seems my Mom, not a huge fan of a lot of different cuisines, doesn't like Spaghetti and Meatballs. Never did, never will. So my father would pick up a can of this every so often, to get his 'fix".

I told Mom that this would go over well with the L-boy for lunch. And I had to smile.

Dad was just such a big kid at heart.

I have great memories of having a fantastic time with him when we were young.

Mom took all the part-time shifts as a nurse while we were in school, and honestly, the evenings she was working were often the most fun of our childhood. Dad would take us to the pizza joints, the fried chicken restaurants, the burger places, out for fish and chips, anything and everything our little hearts desired. For although Dad could cook (amazingly well, actually, for years even better than Mom), he loved junk just as much as we did.

I remember our trips to the pop Shoppe to pick up all manner of candy coloured soda; chasing my sister through the aisles at the hardware store as he picked up things that he would just store in the toolbox, rarely to use. His toys for his collection.

We would sit in the front seat with him in his baby blue T-bird as we went from place to place. Playing with the radio dial, laughing and joking while he told us to sit still. Trying to play with the switches for the electric window, watching as my little sister opened the door and almost fell out of the moving car in the parking lot while Dad was oblivious to our screaming (what's one type of scream compared to the other when you're dealing with 6 and 4 year old girls?). My sister still thanks me to this day for saving her life. Such fond memories. None of which we were allowed to share with Mom, of course.

So the other morning as I cooked up the can's contents to pack in the boy's Thermos for lunch, I saved myself a little morsel.

And when the kids had gone to school, I ate it. In memory of Dad.

I haven't enjoyed canned meatballs since I was about 8 years old.

But this was the most delicious meatball I've had in a great while.


This coming Saturday would have been my parents' 45th wedding anniversary.

I wish we could celebrate joyously as we normally would; and yet I sit here in sadness, my heart so heavy with dread for my Mother.

And I wonder if this sadness will ever really go away.


Life As I Know It said...

I'm sorry for your loss. You have written some wonderfully warm memories about your Dad here. Keep remembering and keep eating those canned meatballs ;)

Domestic Goddess (In Training) said...

I wish I knew when it would be easier. But, I don't think it ever is.

But seriously, after that post, I think I love your dad. Colored sodas and Chef Boyardee... he sounds like he was really great.

Cheryl said...

What a fantastic story....funny how the smallest things give us that connection.
One day, one special occasion at a time, that is all you can do to continue healing. Life will never be the same. Different, but full of amazing memories. We have to enjoy the ones that are still with us, and keep the stories alive, just as you have, of the ones who had to leave.
Take care!

Kami's Khlopchyk said...

Aw Karen, your love and fond memories of your Dad come through so well here. I am sad for you having lost him but so happy you have such fun and wonderful memories of him. And to think that a meatball sparked all of this! Amazing.

Big hugs!

Badness Jones said...

The pain probably won't go away, but it will become less acute. And how wonderful your dad sounds, and how lovely that you have so many wonderful memories of him.

Ed said...

There's nothing better than Boyardee in the am!

And the sadness won't sting as much after a while but it's probably going to linger. The thing is, we all tend to confuse missing our loved ones with sadness--I know I do. I think though that it's really more of just remembering them in small ways like you did today that keeps them a part of our lives.

That probably didn't make sense.

louann said...

I really don't know Karen if it will ever go away. I don't think it ever will. But I would want to believe that we cope fairly well as time passes.
Hugs hugs hugs

Kim said...

Oh Karen..
((Big big Hugs))
I don't have any other words.

Jocelyn said...

Well, poop. But a meatball tribute? The best possible way to be remembered.

Six years, three months, 13 days since my dad died. The grief changes quality but never goes away.

Parenting is for the crazy said...

Sorry for your loss.
I am a big fan of The chef... I can't even stand to it the mini meatball no brand my kids like.

Those are the memories I and every father should want to leave behind....

Mrs4444 said...

Sorry your dad passed. I really loved this post; poignant and real. It touched me.

Cjengo said...

I am sorry about your dad.

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