Goodbye, Art

Astute followers of (hi, mom!) will have noticed by now that I took another long blog hiatus.  The reason for it is that a few days after my last entry, my stepfather Art passed away .  His family was with him in his last few days, to support him and each other.  He left a lot of people missing him and remembering him fondly, and he lived a full and fascinating life.  He was a good man and a great stepfather.

We shared many, many memories of his life at his memorial service last year.  One that I did not get to share then I will share now.

Art was one of the world’s great cooks.  One of his specialties – in addition to gourmet meals of every size and description – was oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  He baked them by the hundred for school sports games, youth group gatherings, church retreats, and family desserts.  Of any type of food, they are without doubt the thing that remind me of him, and they were a constant symbol of support.  His cookies were, if not a stamp of approval, then definitely a reminder that he was always there for you.

When I finished high school and was packing to go away to college he gave me a card with a little gift certificate inside – “mail this home for 1 batch of cookies.”  I never sent it home.  I kept it as a reminder of two things – first, I wanted to save it for when I was having the very worst of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days, and thinking about things always gave me time to realize that it wasn’t quite as bad as I sometimes feared.  Second, as I held on to the card longer and longer, it meant more to me to have the “hey there Will I’ve got your back” reminder.

Art passed away on April 23 2010 and I miss him dearly.  I still have the card he gave me, and although I will now never get those cookies, I’m happy to remember his unwavering support for a growing stepson.  Rest in peace, Art, and thank you for all of the gifts you shared.

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