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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Another Family Legacy, Broken

My dad died when I was 13years 9mo old. He has been gone from my life 12years 10mo. By October 2009, he will be gone as long as he was with me. I don't have much to hang on to him, but the things I do have are important to me. I still share his taste in music. My heart goes to a place with him in his white Grand Prix, listening to Collective Soul or Goo Goo Dolls or Eagles with the bass pumping. He had a custom built sub box in his trunk that I later acquired. Music was something we shared. I have his wallet, the same one that left the outlined indent in his jeans. It still smelled like him for the longest time. I have one t-shirt that was his from an Eagles Reunion concert. I carry many small memories of his leather bomber jacket, him sitting in the freezing cold garage on his computer, his occasionally exposed emotional side, his workaholic traits, his passion for riding (bicycles). I can hear his nicknames that people called him in my head still. "Clark" (from the Griswold's) or "Kev" for short, or "MacGuyver" which needs no explanation. The strongest thing I carry from him is that for the most part, I AM him. I may look like my mom, but being a logical, non-emotional thinker, bull-headed, crafty, driven and short tempered are from him.

So why am I reminiscing on this? I have one more thing that I had to hang on to from him. His grandma's recipe for a very special cookie that will be left unnamed, that I make every year to honor my dad. I remember him making them every Christmas for the family, it was his thing. I remember him dropping eggs on the floor because he was the messiest cook known to man. I remember making them with him as I got old enough to do so. I remember my first Christmas without him, trying to make them to keep his tradition alive while my mom was at work, and crying on the kitchen floor not knowing what Oleo was from his original handwritten recipe. (butter, I'll never forget). Tuesday night, I was approached by my mother-in-law, who had no intention to upset me and didn't know how much this cookie meant to me, with printouts of my recipe from the Internet. Random people posted it, all having different originations of the recipe. Even Martha Stewart has it on her site. None of the recipes are the exact same as mine, but have the same general ingredients, including 2 which are key to the cookie. I felt complete devastation as I came home and plugged the name in, only to find pages on pages of recipes for similar versions. I honestly was stupid enough to believe this was in the family only, hand-written by his grandmother before she died, brought over from Denmark, and only in the hands of past family members.

It truly is something so minor, and not anything I can prevent. But mostly everyone knows what its like to hold onto something so strongly, only to be kicked in the gut and have it stolen away. I have experienced that WAY too many times in the past, and this is no exception to the feeling. I feel this little bond, a tradition carried on, has been minimized to nothing.

I will continue to make this cookie. I won't change a single ingredient from his faded and bleeding blue index card with his handwriting. But it just goes to show, that even at 26 years old, you are reminded. Reminded of what? I'm not sure. Maybe that there is a villain in every story. Maybe that fairy tales have a sequel, it never ends at Happily Ever After. And all this, over a cookie.

1 comment:

Laura said...

This was beautifully written...and heartbreaking at the same time...*hugs* I get it.