Red – not Black.
That was my Dad’s preferred brand.
I made sure I had a bottle in my cabinet in San Diego when Mom and Dad came to visit each winter.
Fortunately, the scotch keeps as I couldn’t stand the stuff. So, it sat each year. Waiting for Dad.
And it still waited after Dad passed.
A Toast to a New Life
I remember when I was packing to leave my beloved San Diego to move in with Mom in Boise.
It was a difficult time. I was one year into my new life as a business owner.
I donated and gave away almost everything I owned to prepare for the move. As I did one last check before climbing into a 16-foot truck (I guess I didn’t get rid of everything), that is when I spotted it.
There on the highest shelf in my kitchen, in the cabinet reserved for the alcohol gifts you never drink, was a half-full bottle of Johnnie Walker Red. Waiting for me.
I crumpled to the floor and cried.
It felt like Dad was letting me know it would be okay as he toasted my new life.
A Toast to Family
Family was everything to my Dad.
I’ve shared the story before when Dad quit his job in frustration, only to apologize and get it back the next day. He knew he had a family to feed.
My dad was never out of work a day in his life.
I know we were all thinking of Dad when we had a family reunion in July. We were celebrating Mom’s 90th birthday.
Her birthday was in March, but we wanted to celebrate when more family was available to come to Boise. For the first time in six years, all seven of her children were in one place.
I marvel at the memories my siblings can call up. It seems I’m the only one with the Boomer Brain.
The weekend was glorious. Even the day broke from scorching heat to deliver beautiful weather. Mom told us she asked Dad the night before to see what he could do.
Once again, Dad delivered a gift to his family.
The day after the Open House would have been Mom and Dad’s 68th wedding anniversary. They shared 61 years.
The friends had left. And one by one, our family returned home. We all agreed it was one of the happiest, best times we could remember in a long time.
I admit it gave me a jolt when a few days after all had left, I opened our pantry door.
There sitting in its treasured spot was a half-full bottle of Johnnie Walker Red.
I remembered one of my brothers brought it to the house.
But, I like to think Dad was toasting his family and a happy life.
I love you, Dad, and I miss you every day.