Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Cookies

I've always been surprised at how grief can hit out of nowhere. And just how sharply it can come at you with very little warning.

I was sitting around a table with five other coworkers for lunch earlier today. A coworker brought one dozen mini cupcakes and we were all politely declining the offer to take the leftovers home. My pregnant coworker mentioned her sister-in-law recently brought by a batch of Christmas cookies that she devoured. As such, she didn't trust herself to have a half dozen mini cupcakes in her house.

Instantly I was transported back to 22 Winter Street. I could vividly picture one or two days before Christmas when Dr. Eastman would walk over with a platter of Christmas cookies his wife Connie would bake every year. We weren't allowed to eat them. Instead, the expectation was that whoever answered the door brought them right into my father, who was usually set-up in the TV room. He would pick through them thoroughly until all the good ones were gone.

With crumbs and powdered sugar and who knows what else all over his face, my father would take the "bad" cookies and bring them out into the kitchen. And. When no one was looking, he'd put any leftovers that he liked in his secret hiding spot. We never tasted most of the cookies and I can hardly remember which ones my Dad liked so much (Meghan probably knows). Yet I remembered most of the details surrounding Connie Eastman's Christmas cookies like it was yesterday. And as I sat at the lunch table while the conversation continued around me, all I could think was "Do not cry at this table."

My dad was so funny- even if he was maddening (and selfish). And I'm grateful to have these kind of memories that make me smile and shake my head when I think of them. Even if the grief and sadness make it difficult to breathe and remind me just how much I miss this man's strong presence in my life.


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