Tuesday, November 9, 2010

For my Dad...

Well, my Mom’s graciously allowed me to hijack her blog to share some words about my Dad on this very difficult day. Although today has been filled predominantly with feelings of sadness and emptiness, I’d like to focus my attention now recalling some happier times…

My Dad was a remarkably selfless person who defined his happiness not by what he owned, but by the love he shared with his family. He found great joy in some of life’s simplest treasures. Believe it or not, some of the biggest smiles I ever saw light up his face were precipitated by placing a large (we’re talking dinner saucer large) stack of pancakes in front of him. Combine that with bacon and fried eggs, plenty of butter and piping hot maple syrup and you had yourself one very happy man. And I do mean combine as in layering eggs and bacon in between discus-sized pancakes served to him hot off the griddle by his adoring wife. I never quite understood it, as I only ate eggs scrambled and preferred some separation on my breakfast plate. But to each their own, right?!?


Well, in honor of my Dad’s birthday this year, I decided to remember him in a way that was uniquely his. Above is a picture of my first “Dad’s breakfast” at Cracker Barrel. Although not nearly the same size as the beloved hotcakes my Mom regularly churned out for her Prince on weekends, CB features some rather tasty buttermilk pancakes that come out slightly crispy on the outside while remaining light and fluffy on the inside. They were his favorite pancakes away from home, so coupled with my recently found love for a great fried egg, I was eager to take part in something that was so special to him.

When the food arrived, I slathered the crispy pancakes in butter, carefully tucked my eggs and bacon in between, then finished it off with steamy syrup. I carved a wedge out with my fork as creamy golden yolk spilled out around the sides. The first bite was simply magical, a wicked amalgamation of sweet syrup, savory bacon, crispy, tangy pancakes and rich, buttery egg. The connection I felt at that moment between he and I was palpable. I fought back swelling tears as I worked on that bite, savoring the physical sensations hitting my palate as well as the countless fond memories of sharing breakfast together as a family. I was hooked.

The overwhelming emotion of today has left me with little in the way of an appetite. However, I managed to put away “Dad’s breakfast” for dinner, along with several cups of black coffee (his standard, opposed to my cream and Splenda). I ate every bite. I had to. He wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Dad, I desperately miss this and everything else that made you so uniquely you. The void left by your departure from this world to the next, and final, adventure is simply unbearable most days. Until the sweet day when we’re reunited again, I’ll cling to all the indelible memories you’ve left behind.

Love Always,

Your baby boy,

Matthew

7 comments:

JJ said...

Matthew,
I so loved your post about your dad, it brought tears to my eyes. What a special way to remember him. So glad your mom let you hijack her blog for this special post. You guys are always in my thoughts and prayers.

JJ

Dawn said...

Wonderful perspective, Matthew. Your dad sounds like a wonderful man. I've loved getting to "know" your mom so much and hope to someday meet in real life!

Judy said...

Wonderful words.

nancygrayce said...

Matthew, what a sweet way to remember your dad! I know you miss him, but keep those memories going!

Cindy Bultema said...

Matthew ~
Thank you for sharing such a beautiful tribute to your dad. I've enjoyed getting to know your mom over the past few months, and am praying very specifically for you all this week. Thank you for sharing. Your family is very special!
Warmly,
Cindy :)

katiegfromtennessee said...

Wow, those pancakes look unforgettably good. Thankyou for sharingwith us.

Blessings,

katiegfromtennessee

Janice said...

This was beautiful. Your dad is surely smiling...and your Father, too! What a legacy he has in you, Matthew!