Saturday, June 26, 2010

D Day Minus 202 (August 18, 2009)

"I can't believe how hot and humid it is." Dad said. You and I trailed a respectful distance behind him making our way to the entrance of Mimi's Cafe.  I trailed even further behind when I had one of my mini panic attacks. You know, the kind where I think I forgot to turn off my curling iron, or can't find my glasses or my iPod. This time, it was about the Mimi's gift card Katie gave Dad and me for our wedding anniversary. I speluncked through my cavernous purse and found it hiding in the side pocket. When I got my racing heart under control, I ran to catch up with you and Dad. 

"I think its over a 100 degrees." Dad droned on about the weather like it made it any cooler.  He didn't shut up about it until he got blasted by freezing cold air when he opened the big double doors to Mimi's.

"That's better." Dad said, actually he almost sang it.  His eyes rolled in the back of his head while he absorbed the cool air through every pour on his body. You glanced over at me and smiled, then started talking about one of your favorite topics -- food.  This time, you assured Dad and me, you'd try the pork chop dinner and  Mimi's Trio: an apple crisp, bread pudding, and a triple chocolate brownie ala mode.  You had to gain the three pounds you dropped during the last round of chemo.

"How many?" the hostess asked.  Instinctively, three fingers on my right hand popped up like a two year just learning to count. "Inside or outside?" She asked. Before I could say anything, Dad piped in with, "inside - it's air conditioned."  On that note, the hostess scurried away and muttered something about a ten minute wait.

We got situated on the overstuffed chairs in the lobby.  We were right under the air conditioning vent, so I nestled up to Dad.  And he shot me a death stare while he wiped sweat off his neck.  I pulled out my sweater buried in my purse and put it on.  Dad shook his head and said, "Nance, you've got to get some meat on those bones."  I tried not to think of the time when I was a sophomore at Granger High School. Coach Shepherd did me a 'favor' just after I'd just finished eating lunch in the cafeteria. He told me I was fat and needed to stay away from junk food.  I told myself to stop thinking about the Coach and thought about getting on the cross trainer after dinner instead. You and Dad were in a deep discussion about the merits of FIFO or first in first out for production rotation, while my battle with the fat demon raged on. 

You kept your promise and ordered your massive pork chop dinner. Dad stuck with salmon and vegetables. And I got the Salmon Nicois Salad, which I totally bungled pronouncing when I tried to order it. Oh, and a really big muffin but the low fat version -- of course. This time we all splurged on drinks, instead of water, which we usually got because it was a healthier choice.  Dad got plain iced tea.  You got fruit punch. And I got Diet Coke.  They all came in the standard industrial sized gold plastic tumblers and unlimited refills.

During dinner, we teased Dad about getting shorter and me getting taller. We talked about you coming up to speed in the bakery at Wegmans. We laughed about how you beat the odds about losing your hair.  We talked about how lucky you were that you didn't lose too much weight and that you felt good.  After we finished our meals, I was too stuffed to eat anymore and asked to have my muffin put in a box to go.  You and Dad started Round 2: dessert.  Dad got some pie and you stuck to your promise about Mama's Trio.

While we waited for dessert, you lifted up your industrial size tumbler, and said, "To Mom and Dad." We clinked our tumblers and nodded to each other. I squeezed Dad's knee and added, "To not killing each other after twenty-seven years."  Then I laughed my naughty evil laugh and kissed Dad. And hoped, you'd get the chance to torture Katie after twenty seven years of marriage.

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