Posted by: Patrice Fitzgerald | December 29, 2008

What We Are Left With

This morning, as I was making my oatmeal, pecan, and craisin mixture for breakfast (my favorite start to the day) I decided to eat with one of the “German” spoons I brought back from my Dad’s house before we sold it.  I hefted it in my hand, to feel its weight and balance, remembering how he used to do that while talking about the perfection of its design.

My Dad had a lot of enthusiasms, a lot of joys.  He sang to me as I fell asleep as a toddler, bits of songs he remembered from his years in Germany after the war (Du, du, liegst mir im Herzen) and from his high school French classes (Allons enfants de la patrie).  Hearing those foreign words in my ears launched me on my own interest in languages.  In high school, and later in college, I learned both French and German better than he ever knew them, and those funny nonsense syllables I had learned as a child came into clarity.  “Regardes la belle neige, comme elle tombe.”  A sentence he helped me learn in 10th grade French, which we used at every snowy opportunity ever after.  

Languages, travel, the sky, the outdoors.  My father inspired me to love all these things.  

He is gone, but he has left me these memories.  All these parts of life to savor and share with my own children.

I picked up the spoon and hefted it, and he was right there with me in the kitchen this morning.  “Isn’t that something, the way it balances?” he would say.

What are you leaving with the people you love?


  1. what a lovely memory… 🙂

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