Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Filling the Void
It is amazing to me how aromas can blast us back decades in time in a single instant. Today was my grandfather's birthday. He died in 1999, but I still miss him like it was yesterday.
I stopped at his favorite bakery, Housewife Bake Shop, on my way home from work this evening before dinner at my parents' house. Pop Pop and I used to stop at the bakery on the way home to my house from his at least once a week while I was growing up. As I pushed open the door this afternoon, l was hit with the old, familiar smell of sweet, fresh, deliciousness that I hadn't encountered in years. I was overcome.
As I battled the lump that instantly formed in my throat, I had to fight back tears. I knew that I missed him, but damn! Of course the first thing I saw were his favorite creme horns staring back at me from behind the same old shiny glass case. I found myself stammering am apology to the sweet clerk behind the counter and trying to explain. She said she had just lost her grandfather and now I was making her cry! I tried to tell her that it gets easier, but I'm afraid I didn't look all that convincing.
Thirty dollars, two white boxes, and one bag later I made it to my car. I closed the door, turned the key in the ignition, turned on the air and music, told Pop Pop how much I missed him, and let the tears fall.
Yes, it gets easier. Life goes on, just as it should. But some days, the empty space feels cavernous and no bakery treat, no matter how sweet, will ever fill that void.