This was the first Father's Day since our father passed on. There was a lot to think about. He's been gone just a year. The good thing was, he was a gifted artist and did so much with his talent. The good thing was, he was ill for many years with Parkinson's. His illness held many lessons; for him and for the family.
There were many memories from long, long ago.... like the day my two sisters went to the hospital to have their tonsils removed. While mom went to the hospital with them, dad stayed home with me. I was maybe seven or eight at the time. I don't remember much about the whole time except for the three hours we spent washing the dishes. No, it doesn't take three hours to wash the dishes and there weren't even very many of them. This was different though.
Dad showed me how to rinse the dishes first and then let them soak in the hot soapy water to start the cleaning process as well as to sanitize them. While they soaked, we got the pans ready since they would go in last. He talked about appreciating having so many dishes and the idea that they had been used by not only the people we loved and held dear but, also by the abundance of food that we had. He showed me how to rinse the glasses by using just a little bit of hot water and swishing it around - twice - so they were all well rinsed and there was no water wasted. When we got to the flatware, he showed me how to check all the tines on the forks and to be mindful of the serated edge on the knives.
Sharing a meal - every meal - is a celebration, right down to the very last pan being washed. It didn't much matter what was on the menu (which usually wasn't much back then ) it was always a special time.
I wonder how many other daughters have been given the privilidge of learning what a blessing it is to wash the dishes?