Monday, January 19, 2009

Two Cans of Salmon

In my pantry, there are two cans of Alaskan Salmon from the Pennisula Processing and Smokehouse in Soldotna Alaska.

I cannot eat these two cans of salmon. I cannot bring myself to open these cans.

The cans were part of a gift of four cans of smoked Salmon sent to us for Christmas in 2007 by my Uncle Steve. Andrew has been asking to eat the fish with crackers, on a bagel or our favorite- with scrambled eggs, chives and cream cheese.

If I eat the salmon, it will be gone. Uncle Steve is gone. He died almost a year ago and I can't bring myself to open the last two cans.

It is cold here in Ohio. It's actually warmer in Alaska than it is here according to my Dad. He checks the weather station at Otto Lake not far from where Steve lived outside of Healy. Our sun is low in the sky today and the snow at dusk looks cold and blue. It is wispy snow, small wind whipped shards of ice blowing everywhere- under the door, across the pond, down the sidewalk. It's cold.

I have two cans of salmon. If I eat it with scrambled eggs, does it mean he's gone? It's just two cans of smoked fish.

12 comments:

Cynthia said...

JBA, I've had so many of those experiences, Dad's jacket, Mom's ring, Grandma's tea cup...lost, given, broken...is sure let's you know if you've healed over the loss. I always tell myself the object is not the person...it doesn't really help. sigh. sorry about your loss.

Barry said...

We have a bottle of wine, that my wife's uncle gave us fifteen years ago, that my wife could never bring herself to allow us to drink.

After 15 years, I'm not sure I want it any longer.

But I know how you feel.

Teri said...

I have a feeling I'll have Mike's Cole-Haan Tuxedo dress shoes forever...he wore them once, at that same celebration I wore that lovely dress of my moms to...just one of those things like 2 cans of salmon.

Teri and the cats of Furrydance

Sparky ♥ ∞ said...

I have my father's jacket (died 2006), many of my mother's things (died 1966), my grandmother's figureines (died 1981) ... yeah, I know how you feel. I'll have these items as long as I breathe and the house is standing. If in your shoes, I couldn't use the salmon either. The object is not the Loved One but it reminds us of how much we love them and visa versa. Sorry for your loss my dear. ♥ ∞

Anonymous said...

Bring the salmon to Elkhart. I'll take real good care of it.

SCB

JBA said...

I don't know Dad. That sounds a bit "fishy."

Laura said...

Those are not cans of fish, those are cans of memories, there is a big difference. It is mental sustenance, not physical.

Just B said...

Eat one in celebration/memory of your uncle and save the other one. That's what I would do.

King of New York Hacks said...

You're Uncle gave them to you to eat and enjoy. Eat the cans. Just like I cook old recipes my mother left behind or eats cans of things like Bookbinders lobster bisque that my grandmother loved.Every time I eat them , they are at the table with me, which is a lot better than staring at them in a cupboard.

Captain Dumbass said...

Look at it this way, eating those cans of salmon will help to grow millions of new cells of all kinds in your body.

bernthis said...

I would bet that Steve would want your kids to eat something that they love. He sounds like a great guy who loved to see people he loved happy

Carmi said...

I so feel your pain: I've been holding onto remnants of treasured friends and family members ever since I can remember.

I've got a book from my uncle (that he wrote and I edited), a bottle of scotch from my great uncle (that he used to toast me and my wife at our wedding) and a gray fedora from my grandfather.

Every time I touch any of these, I feel connected to them even though they've all been gone for so long. I've never been a "thing" person, but I couldn't ever bear to get rid of these touchstones of my past.