Chipped Ham Sandwiches!
Quick: WHAT COMES TO MIND?
Hunger? Mayo? Mustard? Barbecue? Fresh Bread? Picnics? Packed Lunches? Root Beer? Pickles?
For me, it’s always him.
Junior High through High School and then a few times during Christmas vacations or quick Summer visits.
Chipped Ham sandwiches.
It was his signature move, but not his only one.
On Friday night sleepover’s he’d make them after basketball practice. The freshest of Italian Bread slices, sometimes with thinly sliced tomatoes and an even thinner layer of mayo. It was a masterpiece, too good, almost to eat and always slow enough to savor.
He lived his life with the same kind of Masterpiece living. He always spoke softly with a smile and kept his car clean enough to eat a sandwich or a holiday meal. His garage and house was impeccable, nothing ever out of place and I loved always the perfect fire in the basement fireplace on cold winter evenings.
He loved Sinatra and was even more of a GENTLE man. He was a perfect compliment to a wife he adored and his two children whom he cherished.
He always asked of family and others before sharing of himself. I never knew of one of his needs, even when he was hurt in a steel mill accident.
I would often see him walking a track that I ran on in both of our adult years and he would always nod in acknowledgement and extend a hand before you could get one out of your pocket.
He has grieved heroically since his wife died suddenly in 2007 and I hadn’t seen or talked with or seldom of him since.
I had heard of his death like so many other things I learn of these days: A Facebook post.
I thought of Chipped Ham Sandwiches and the ease, skill and expertise he showed as he made them very shortly after unpacking his other groceries.
I will attend his funeral today out of respect for him and mostly his Son who has been my best friend since 8th grade.
I will Honor and celebrate Him with some shared memories.
I will Remember…and be thankful for the small, great things that make Life significant. I will take the things I’ve known; the very things I’ve admired, respected; the things I’ve loved and cherished and make them a part of myself–I’ll share them as they’ve been shared with me…so that others may remember and share alike one day on my behalf, too.
. . .and I will eat a chipped ham sandwich. . .