My grandfather Ed Rozeboom passed away recently. When my children were little we started calling him Grandpa Rosie because Rozeboom was a mouthful for toddlers. He lived long and finished well, going where he longed to be – to the place where he is no longer an alien, but a citizen. The Promised Land.
There was a funeral, with all the expected people, places, and casseroles. The purpose of closure was accomplished. But now there is the afterward. Remembering.
I like this part. Because the end of his life was recent I think of my Grandpa as well as my Grandma often. Here’s what keeps joyfully rising to the surface of these thoughts: food! Bringing lunch out to Grandpa on the tractor. Grandmas deep freeze in the sun room full of frozen candy from the previous holiday. The cellar in the basement where we put leftovers after big family meals. Learning to make Grandma’s pie crust that she had no recipe for. Camping & rolling coffee cans with Grandpa to make home-made ice cream. Summer and sandwiches with Velveeta; Grandmas thick sliced garden tomatoes. Peanut butter with butter on top of Grandpas toast. More peanut butter and butter and sweet pickle sandwiches on Wonder Bread – Grandpas favorite. Grandmas cookies and bars and candy jars. And pizza. Grandpa always brought us pizza.
After the funeral, our family left Iowa and headed for Colorado making a stop at The Pizza Ranch for dinner. Not because it’s the greatest pizza we’ve ever had, but because it reminds us of this man we loved.
I find myself thankful when I think of my Grandparents Rosie. Remembering is healing. And I am most delighted to find that food is the memory holder. Given that, I am sure I will never forget them.
Does food hold helpful memories for you?