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On a More Serious Note

Grandpa's high school graduation picture from the 1940s. He made sure he learned to cook a big enough selection after my mother died so he could have guests to his home.

Grandpa’s high school graduation picture from the 1940s. He made sure he learned to cook a big enough selection of food after my mother died so that he could have guests to his home.

When I was a child I thought every family did the same two things when somebody died. First of all, we went shopping to buy the proper clothes, which were either black or navy blue. Secondly, someone went to Greenpoint, a Polish section in Brooklyn, New York, to get the right kielbasi for the guests who would stay over to attend the wake and funeral. Only the brand White Eagle would do.

Food is often part of a very sad or very happy occasion, and many sacred moments too. Consider the story of Cana in which through a miracle Jesus honors the guests and the moment by providing wine when the hosts come up short.

It is not lost on me that during my mother’s last few days when nutrition was irrelevant and the mood was somber, we cooked kielbasi for her and delighted in the few tiny bites she ate, smiling and offering compliments to the cook.

2 Responses to “On a More Serious Note”

  1. jjm says:

    What a wonderful memory. In my family, it seems like someone always dropped off a ham. My only food memory when my mom passed was that our dear lifelong family friend, Marge Percy, made chocolate chip cookies for us.

  2. Kathy says:

    True comfort food.

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