There are certain things that remind me of my father, they always have and they probably always will.
Some things that remind me of dad are due to new memories, like sailboats and guitars.
But there are a select few that bring memories of me and my dad so vividly they are almost tangible.
- Cinnamon Gum:
As a kid, whenever we went on long car trips or vacations by way of airplanes, my dad would chew cinnamon gum. Big Red to be exact. Not being much of a regular gum chewer at all, a pack of Big Red would last dad quite awhile, to the point where a forgotten pack could be found in the glove box of his car; stale, crumbly, hardly gum at all by that point, but still if I found the forgotten pack of gum, I always nibbled a piece just because it reminded me of dad.
Now, when we go on vacation as a family, I always remember to bring a pack of cinnamon gum, just in case...
- Coca Cola Slurpees:
Flashback to Summer 2003, I had just graduated high school, had been accepted to the Bay Area School of my choice and was enjoying the last few weeks of true, unadulterated freedom. Until I remembered, at 9:00 the night before no less, that Freshman Orientation was the next morning. Mom was busy with the Ice Cream Store and I hadn’t yet had the practice of driving to the BA on my own yet so that left dad, scrambling to change his plans to accommodate my lack of organization and forgetfulness to take me to my orientation. I’m sure he was thrilled. We stayed up until some ungodly hour gathering all the paperwork and forms that needed to be completed by the next morning and spent a few torturous hours on the university’s website trying to figure out the online course catalog (because , silly me, I was going to have to sign up for classes and wouldn’t you know I hadn’t done an ounce of research to find out what my four-year plan of action was) I’m sure my dad could have killed me.
The next day we left at yet another ungodly hour to make the trek down to the Bay Area where we spent a long day in freshman orientation seminars, and class registration and sign up on far too little sleep.
By the end of day we were ready for a nap, but the 3.5 hour drive home (and that’s if there’s no traffic) stood in our way.
Did I mention it was mid-July and in the triple digits, with humidity that day?
On the way out of town, Dad stopped at 7-11 and, figuring we needed both the caffeine and the cool down, got us each a huge Coke Slurpee.
To this day, whenever it is really hot out, I scout out a 7-11 and bask in the memory of sharing a Coke Slurpee, alone with my dad, on a long car ride home.
When I was in high school, I often did my homework at the kitchen table after dinner. Mom and dad almost always made me sit with my back to the TV because it was usually too distracting while trying to master Geometry, U.S History and Anatomy (I wonder why?!).
But one night a week, for a half hour, my dad would call me away from whatever homework or project I was working on to watch Scrubs with him.
He’d call me from the living room and make room on the couch so I could cuddle into that crook of his arm where daughters fit so nicely and we’d enjoy our favorite TV show.
The other things that remind me of dad don’t necessarily fit into a nice little package like the rest.
Like the smell of his seatbelt in the car that Husband now drives, for a few weeks when we’d get in, I’d lean over to smell the spot on the seatbelt that used to sit on my dad’s chest because it was a comforting way to face the day(the spot now smells like Husband, which is comforting in another way altogether).
I might forget some of the things that remind me of my dad right now, but some things will stay with me for life like the jokes that pop into my head and make me smile, because they’re jokes that my dad told me growing up.
Or the way my pinky toes never leave a print when I walk through a puddle of water because they stick up.
Just like my dad’s…
**Editor's note** I have been sitting on this post since Father's Day, waiting for some other dad-centric day or time to post it but since I have yet to write about our recent houseboat trip and edit the photos, this random day in July will have to do...