Next week will be the 1st anniversary of my dad's passing. My sister has been putting together a wonderful Shutterfly book with the personal history he wrote with lots of photos from his life...some I have never even seen before. And although I still think about him a lot, the pain isn't quite as intense as it has been in the past. Mostly I just miss him.
Reading over the stories in this book, I am reminded of some of the best, worst, and more hilarious parts of our family's history. I also realized that there are many stories about my dad that I have never told anyone aside from Tony. And although this might not be interesting to most of you out there, it is important to me to have these experiences written so that my children will someday know them. And although they might not have many memories with their grandfather in them, they will never doubt that I loved him. And he loved them.
My dad was not a materialistic man. He was a dentist and made all the money he wanted or needed, but aside from his hobbies, he didn't have a lot of "stuff" so there was few of his personal things that we wanted after he passed. But I did desperately want his popcorn pan. As long as I remember, my dad made popcorn in this pan. Each Sunday night, our family would watch a movie together and he would make "sticky" popcorn or popcorn with melted marshmallows. I really preferred it the way my dad did...just salt and real butter, so he would always make two little bowls of regular popcorn for us. When he was so ill and visiting us for what would be the last time, I had to go to a farewell party in town. My parents were spending the early evening with us and I promised to be back as soon as I could. Dad said he was making sticky popcorn for the kids. When I got home, dad had gotten tired and they had gone back to their hotel room on base. But sitting on the counter was a bowl of popcorn waiting for me. I grabbed it and took it back to our room to eat it while I read and that first bite...I tasted it and started to sob. Nobody could make popcorn taste like my dad's. And I knew in my soul that it was the last time I would be tasting his popcorn. And my heart broke.
When we went home for the funeral, my sisters graciously let me take his popcorn pan home with me. And I make popcorn with it sometimes. But it never tastes like my dad's.