My dad loved hot dogs. When we moved him into our home in March, I made sure that we always had some on hand. He liked his with mustard, relish and chopped onions on a whole wheat bun. Even when he didn’t feel up to eating much, a hot dog always did the trick.
After he passed away last month, I was cleaning out the refrigerator and found two leftover hot dogs. They made me smile. I mentioned them to the Crankee Yankee and he obligingly finished them off.
It’s funny the things you remember about a person. I can go back in my mind to Mom’s and Dad’s wedding, held in the parlor at my grandparents’ home. I was four at the time, and was far more interested in the wedding cake than the actual wedding.
I remember the day that Dad took me out of school to ski with him at Wildcat Mountain in Gorham, NH. It was an amazing day, and the snow was perfect. I remember skiing most of the day, and before we left, we each had a hot chocolate.
When I was growing up, it seemed as if grownups had parties every weekend. They probably didn’t, but that’s how it seemed to me at the time. One year there was a costume party that Mom and Dad attended. They went as the Arab/Israeli war; Mom wore veils, long false eyelashes and lots of jewelry. Dad wore a long black robe and a yarmulke, and both sported one black eye apiece. They won first prize; a bottle of champagne.
As the days pass by, I find my grief at losing my dad diminishing a bit at a time. There are so many memories I cherish, and in my mind, my parents are as vivid and as alive as ever. More things about them make me smile rather than cry. The nature of grief is to go back and forth between laughter and tears, sorrow and joy, loss and appreciation, and so many, many memories.
Especially the Ned Bullock Memorial hot dogs.