One-half gallon of pistachio ice cream has always been a staple in my freezer for the three months that Blue Bell makes it. Pistachio was my father's favorite. He introduced it to me at Howard Johnson's on a family trip to Houston. I was a child--probably 10 years old and in the third grade--but I remember clearly how grown up it tasted. Crunchy, exotic.
For the 19 years since his death, I reached for the green carton of Blue Bell when pistachio came in season. I would spoon the ice cream in my mouth and savor the sweet, sweet memory of my daddy. Most times I could delight in 1/2 cup, but occasionally I was so lonely for him that I'd gorge in the entire carton till I was sugar drunk and had to sleep it off.
I miss my daddy, especially today; it's Father's Day. But ice cream is not on the menu. Instead, I let my heart ache as his memory washes over me. No need to anesthetize my feelings and let them get stuck and cripple me. Instead, I focus on my son and how much of my father's best qualities he carries. Matthew is creative and kind and loving and intelligent and compassionate and adventuresome. Irish-American blood runs deep currents of steadfastness in the souls of its ancestry. My father has left this world and yet the best parts of him still live within and through his grandson.
I am blessed.