My mama hates liver! When I was young, my father would have a craving for liver and onions (we are country folk after all) and my mother would adamantly refuse to oblige. So on the rare nights when mom wasn’t at home and Daddy was responsible for feeding the family, we could expect something on the “banned list” i.e. seafood or liver.
My father was the master when it came to liver. I hated onions with a vengeance when I was a child. I no longer share this ridiculous sentiment. Onions are a gift from the heavens! But, I digress…Daddy would make liver and onions when Mama wasn’t around to smell it cooking and I LOVED it! Not only did I like the flavor of the dish, I liked the time with my daddy sharing something we loved together. It was something that was ours, though I suppose my brothers were there too. Still, in my heart, liver and onions belonged to us, my daddy and me.
Last night I called my father. My husband and I had purchased some liver at the grocery store (he is an equal fan) and I didn’t want to mess it up. I called my dad to be sure I was preparing it just right. I live far away from my father these days with over a thousand miles separating us. I miss the rare moments of sanctitude between us. The nights of staring into the hood of a car and handing him tools while he tinkered away at an engine, the hours spent by a random lake waiting for the fish to bite, the simple things…the liver and onions. I can’t help but think of all of the many people who don’t have such memories to share.
Maybe the world would be a better place if we had fathers who inspired such thoughts in the hearts of their children. What if there were more children calling on a Saturday night to find out exactly how he made it taste so magical? What if there were more kids looking aimlessly into the hood passing a wrench or two? What if we weren’t so ridiculously busy that we stopped to think of the little ones pretending to fall asleep in the car so daddy would carry them inside and tuck them into bed (yes, I did that too).
Maybe the answers to at least some of the problems in our world are simple…family, love, liver and onions…
Just a random thought as my olfactory senses take me down memory lane. My father taught me much about life. He and my mother shaped the foundation of my world. What legacy am I leaving to my littles as I trample through the day to day. Hopefully, someday, my kids will be cooking in the kitchen and think of me. Hopefully, there will be many memories that translate them from their present to their past and bring them the simple joy I feel tonight.
In the meantime, it’s time for dinner.