Remembering | www.kitchenconfidante.com | Seashells

Remembering

Remembering | www.kitchenconfidante.com | Seashells
Remembering

Remembering | www.kitchenconfidante.com | Seashells

You begin by remembering the sound of his voice. The tenor of his kind words, the bass of his chuckle. You remember the expressions he would exclaim when your son tells him that he scored a goal, the way he would say, “Alright!” You remember how he would sweet talk the cats when he would visit, his pet names for them. You remember how he was there when your daughter had her first taste of solid food, how he laughed at how she devoured those bland spoonfuls. “You like that rice cereal!” he nearly sang.

And like that, the floodgates of memories open.

I have been remembering. Returning to the archives of fond memories, revisiting those moments that I will always cherish of my father-in-law. From the time I have known him, there were health concerns. They never went away. But from that moment that I met him, that first dinner I shared with him and my eventual husband on a warm Chicago evening, I understood the depth of his heart.

I am missing a wonderful man, a father in law who has shown me nothing but kindness and sincerity. He was stubborn in his strength, and in his love for our children. I was honored to call him dad.

My father in law passed away a week ago, and we have been to Dallas to see him and back again. To hear his memories of seashells on the shores of Okinawa. To create final memories at Legoland with our children. And this past weekend, to say farewell.

But I want you to know one more thing. My father in law nourished us in our first years of marriage in more than one way. Aside from his reminders to take time to be present for one another, to go on dates, his food nourished us. His recipes guided us through those first years especially, becoming family favorites. It is his Buttermilk Banana Bread that we bake over and over and over again – and I know so many of you may, too. The children beg for the Honey Spice Marinade in Papa’s Chicken. There’s the Pineapple Rum Marinade. And of course, there are also memories of meals I cooked that he enjoyed. A lover of Thai food, he adored the Thai-Style Halibut with Coconut Curry Broth. I will continue to cook his food, and hope one day, our children will remember him each time they take a warm loaf of banana bread out of the oven. I hope you do, too.

We miss you, Papa, and love you.

Comments

  1. Mindy

    I’m sorry for your loss. What a very special thing to carry his recipes with you. I have no doubt they’ll be carried on through generations.

    Reply
  2. Maria

    I am so very sorry for your loss. It seems like we both had great father-in-laws. I am going to find those recipes and make them…hugs.

    Reply
  3. Cheryl

    Liren , what a touching tribute to Tom’s father. He would be so honored and proud to know how you felt. The memories are the gifts he has left for all of you.

    Reply
  4. Gina

    I was so sad to hear this, sending condolences and prayers your way. My fil passed last November and I still cry when I mention his name, hoping you guys remember all the good times and talk about him often that is the best way to keep his memories alive. I’m here if you need anything.
    -Gina-

    Reply
  5. Elizabeth

    Your post really touched me. Was sorry to hear you are going through this. I recently lost my mother-in-law and can relate. Lucky to have them in our lives, but wish they could stay longer. Take care

    Reply
  6. Cassie

    I’m so sorry, again, for your loss, Liren. I can’t imagine being in your shoes. Hugs and thoughts and prayers for you and your family! xo

    Reply
  7. Mary@SiftingFocus

    Liren, I can sense your deep feelings of loss through your words. How blessed you were to have such a wonderful relationship with your father-in-law. I too am lucky in this way. You are fortunate to have a treasury of recipes to help keep his memory alive for yourself and future generations. My heart-felt condolences go out to you and Tom.

    Reply
  8. Cookin Canuck

    What a lovely tribute, Liren. I am so sorry for your loss. Your father-in-law was clearly a man who touched your family deeply, and it sounds as though his spirit will live a long time through the stories you tell of him and the food you share. xo

    Reply
  9. merry jennifer

    I am so very sorry for your loss, Liren. He sounds like such a wonderful father-in-law, father, and grandfather. Many hugs for you and your family. xo

    Reply
  10. Courtney

    So sorry to hear of your loss! I know the pain that comes with losing a loved one. I hope you find comfort in the memories and the dishes he inspired. I still make my mother’s dishes as a tribute to her love and life. ~Courtney

    Reply
  11. Cristina

    A beauitful post about your father-in-law, Liren. Father-in-laws can have a special way and warmth about them that make your visits and inclusion into a new family an easier one. My condolences to your families and Husband’s loss.

    Reply
  12. angela@spinachtiger

    Sorry for your loss, but touched in the way you are remembering him. It’s a reminder of the power of love and the power of food and when they intersect, it’s magical and creates long lasting memories that can become a legacy.

    Reply
  13. Bonny

    So sorry for your great loss! Thank you for your touching thoughts of your father-in-law. It makes me remember and miss my own dad that was always an inspiration.

    Reply
  14. Michele Franklin

    Your father in law was my first cousin. Our difference in age was over 20 years so I did not know him well. But he was a close and treasured nephew and friend to my mother, Lois, who just died on February 1st. Sandy gave me the link to your blog. I’m excited to hear about the Buttermilk Banana Bread and Papa’s Chicken recipes. I will make them for my father, Joe. He was also friends with your father in law and admired him greatly. Many thanks for sharing.

    Reply
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