For those of you who have read my blog, you know I consider Fridays “Foodless” and I talk about any of the other wonderful things out there that make me who I am.
You may have noticed that I have also been a bit absent so I thank you for sticking with me! I hope this post restores your DwD enthusiasm.
As you know I have loved to be in the kitchen for as long as I can remember. The first “unsupervised” item I ever made was coffee. My mom and dad were very protective so the only reason it was unsupervised is because I was, dare I say, slightly devilish when it came to the kitchen. Very early one morning when I was 4, I tiptoed down the stairs and into the kitchen; quietly let the water run into the 4-cup Farberware perculator and gently scooped in four scoops of grinds. No, my parents didn’t drink it that strong at the time, I just didn’t understand the whole ratio thing. Then I ever so carefully placed the lid on and plugged in the pot. While it was brewing I pulled out a tray, added mugs, a little pitcher of milk, two Tastykakes (always a Philly girl at heart) and when the coffee stopped brewing I unplugged it and placed the pot on the tray. Cautiously making my way through the dining room, the living room and up the stairs I heard the faint talking of my mom and dad. My dad called out, “Krista?” I replied “Good Morning,” and walked over the threshold proudly displaying my gift that early Saturday morning.
They both jumped up when they saw the gifts I had brought. I can remember them both telling me they thought the aroma of fresh-brewed coffee was a dream. We sat on the bed with my sister, and talked while my parents drank their coffee. That scenario would play out hundreds of time over the next 25+ years each time with someone different making the coffee.
It is still a tradition, if not habit to talk to each other while we drink coffee in the morning. That routine of coffee drinking and talking has helped me more than words could ever express. The difference is that now, during the week at least, I brew it in the Keurig or stop at Starbucks and I’m in an office and not sitting on my parents bed chatting with them. I’m also in New York but I digress. My dad, the early riser, gets the first call and my mom gets a call a bit later. I cling to those phone calls because no matter what the day is going to bring or how much stress is in my life just having a few moments to talk out my day with my mom and dad makes it easier to face. But, as most things do, family coffee talk has changed.
On January 14, one of my biggest cheerleaders, my dad, passed away at home with my mom at his side after a brave 18 month battle with pancreatic cancer. Call me naive but even in that final week of life, when he was placed in Hospice at Home, the sparkle in his eyes and the faith that my parents instilled in me made me believe that he was going to stand up and walk again. He was going to get that new Caddy he kept talking about, he was going to come back to New York and walk through Central Park. I can remember the last time I saw him a few days prior to his passing, I hugged him and said that I would be back for the upcoming long weekend. I don’t remember saying goodbye, just I love you. And even in his weakened state, he managed to give me a call a day or two before he passed. It wasn’t a long conversation. Just wanted to let me know my sister was making him tea and maybe some pastina. As always, it ended with I love you’s.
I have struggled to function these past few weeks, no matter how many times I have said to myself, “I’m so thankful he isn’t suffering,” or “It’s a relief that he isn’t in pain,” because even if he never complained, I know that the pain had to be there. I have been too distracted to write, whether it’s this blog, or the novel I am working on. I just haven’t wanted to. But I know that my dad would not want that of me. He was always reading this blog. He and my mom were my second (and third) pair of eyes before I posted. They have encouraged me to use my God-given talent and I don’t want to forget that.
As I am writing this, I know that my dad is proofing over my shoulder and would be proud to see that I have written through some of my pain. I have been stuck in this cycle where I want to write but I felt that I couldn’t go forward until I wrote about my dad, but every time I sat to do it, I just couldn’t and another day passed and then a week. I hope that this is a turning point.
But most of all I am happy to say that I haven’t had to stop our morning coffee talks. The only difference is that the conversations are now one-sided. Every morning I go to work I set my coffee down in front of my dad’s prayer card. His smiling face a welcome sight and on days when its difficult to function, I recite the Togetherness poem printed next to it, sometimes several times until I can get going with the day.
Thank you for letting me share this with you.