July 11, 2016

Sunday Musings

I'm sitting outside with a restless toddler who can't handle Sunday School. It's easier outside, rather than chasing him out of classrooms he shouldn't be in, and through conversations that I have to barge through. It's a beautiful day, a break in the sweltering temperatures of the last few weeks. It's quiet except for the wind blowing through a row of noisy trees that I don't know the name of. In a backyard somewhere nearby, someone just lit a charcoal grill. I know because it's the Sunday afternoon smell. It makes me hungry and sad at the same time. My dad used to grill dinner every single Sunday from May until September. And it's funny, because I don't really remember the food, I remember the smell. I remember the black on my hands when he would let me help pour the charcoal in. I remember shucking corn while the grill smoked, sitting on the back steps while he sat in his designated lawn chair and watched the birds while he waited for the coals to heat up.  I remember him banging on the back door, his hands full.  I remember his self deprecation as we ate, a trait that I picked up, critical of the way the meat was cooked and concerned that we weren't enjoying it. 
A year after losing him, the smell sends almost a visceral reaction through me, making me both nostalgic and, simply put, devastated.  I experience a moment like this almost daily, some little thing reminds me of him and it knocks the wind out of me for a moment.  And I am grateful that most memories, while breaking my heart a little, almost make me smile.  I am lucky to have such a dad.  Something that I wish that I had realized just a little bit sooner.  

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