The Case of the Missing Memories

Not long ago I was visiting my Mom who lives just two blocks away. We see her often, but we usually just pick her up to go to dinner or shopping or to run errands, but don’t often go into the house. This time, though, she had given my husband a short list of items that needed fixing and that had been irritating her. You know, “guy stuff” that might involve use of tools. I usually get the job to reset light timers when we change to daylight savings time, or replace smoke detector batteries, and sometime even to change the light bulb at the top of the stairs. For me, it’s a thankless task, while for his brilliance and strength, and because he is a guy, my husband is rewarded generously from Mom’s secret stash of Butterfinger candy bars.

This time, while Mom was following him around with her “To Do” list I looked around and decided I could put some finishing touches on her kitchen. You know, a dish or two that somehow made it into the sink but could not get all the way into the dishwasher. Beside, the counters needed a good once-over, and I figured that while I should also make the tea kettle sparkly clean.

I soon discovered that I was involved in the Case of the Missing Memories.

While I was doing this quick tidy up some faint memories tickled me inside my head, and made me pause and wonder what they were and why they had gone missing.

I opened the cupboard door to put some dishes away, and right there on the second shelf were two egg cups. They were nothing fancy, just two small egg cups with some flower decals that had lost some luster over the years. My Dad (and only my Dad, mind you!) had used these egg cups, and I was startled when I realized that they had not been used since he died almost twenty years ago!

What was so special about these little egg cups? Missing Memories!

When I was a little girl, my Dad loved to have soft boiled eggs with a slice of toast. He would place the egg in the cup, pick up his knife, and with great deliberation and precision whack off the top of the egg, scoop out the portion in the top with his spoon and give it to me. There was not one egg that slipped by his routine, and it didn’t matter if I had eggs my own, because I always got the top of Dad’s eggs.

I was surprised that I had forgotten about these egg cups, and wondered what else I may have forgotten.

Smiling to myself, I put the dishes on the shelf, closed the cupboard door and was opening the silverware drawer when something stopped me. There, in the drawer among the odds and ends of serving flatware, was a tiny seafood fork. There was just one such fork was in the drawer.

More Missing Memories came rushing back as I looked at the fork that was Dad’s special seafood fork to be used only for digging his prized sardines out of their can. I also remembered that there was a detailed ritual that accompanied the eating of sardines.

I could not stand the sight of these things, let alone their smell, but Dad would remove the sardines from the can, properly and with good form, and precisely lay each on a plate that has been prepared with his favorite crackers. I watched with fascination and wondered how anyone could eat fish that had been immersed in that stinky liquid.

Oh, what I wouldn’t give to see any one of his quirky dining performances today.

So on this Memorial Day weekend as thoughts turn those who all who served, I have found Missing Memories of my Dad who served in the Army during the Korean war, but who I will best remember as my Dad.

– Genealogy Huntress


About Hunting Down History

Megan Heyl is a genealogist, researcher and teacher and has been involved in genealogy for many years.
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