march 15 was the anniversary of the day my father died and joined my mother. had he not been addicted to cigarettes, alcohol, and gambling in his 20’s, he’d have been 72 years old. instead, he’s been in that great rehab in the sky (i hope…) for 12 long years. as i have often done since he died, i had a fried clam dinner in his honor, because for me, the inherited addiction gene has (in my post twenties life) been expressing itself in relation to food (as in “it’s all about the food”). (is this wrong??). why fried clams? well, for one thing, unlike my opinion of my mother’s food favorites (see prior blog post entitled “grieving my dead relatives, part 1) which i mostly deplored, i shared a love for many of my father’s favorite foods: coffee, black (the beverage, NOT the jello), almost any kind of doughnut, liver, lumberjack breakfasts, lamb chops, hot fudge sundaes, all things chocolate…all good things. the other reason is that fried clams were on the plate for his Last Supper. after days of existing mostly on air and water (the lung tumor had the upper hand by this point and the dying process was well underway), he suddenly sat up in the hospice hospital bed in the living room and said, “i want a fried clam dinner!” which my brother promptly procured and which he really did sit up and eat, every last bite. then, he went to sleep and never woke up, dying about a day and a half later. so, some years i just buy a box of fried clams and eat it myself, no fanfare…kind of an eating meditative prayer. this year i invited my husband to join me and we went to the Maine Diner (http://www.mainediner.com/). we muddied the tradition up a bit; we ordered buffalo chicken fingers for dessert, a food that my father never had, to the best of my knowledge. (was that wrong??)
what do you thing about observing the anniversary of a parent’s “deathday”?