Friday I had to drive over and pick up my dad’s death certificate. I know he’s gone, but seeing his name with the official seal stings a whole lot!
One of the memories I had about my dad was many years ago, we used to drive to this small town in Kentucky. (I would drive; Daddy would talk.) Daddy would tell me all about his farming days. We took the same route every time. There was a sharp curve on that two-lane highway. Along that curve was a huge area of empty land. I would always talk about how much I loved that spot. Daddy would tell me when he got rich, he would buy that land for me.
After many months of our trips, a coal mine conveyor was built across that land and crushed my dreams.
One thing that never diminished was Welch’s Grape Soda. Is that something crazy to say? Probably to everyone, but my daddy and me.
When we would get to our turnaround spot, there was a tiny grocery with soft drink machines. My daddy would have a dollar bill ready. I would get us a Welch’s Grape Soda to share on the drive back.
Daddy would open and with the swish of the cap, the entire car filled with that strong scent of grape.
When I mentioned this to my lifelong friend, Miranda, she at first was appalled that I liked grape so much. What I didn’t realize was she went hunting for this very drink the day my dad died. She wanted to give me a piece of my dad. She had no luck after visiting multiple stores.
She and her friend back in Missouri started looking everywhere. They couldn’t find it any store, but found it on Amazon for nearly $3/bottle. Umm…thanks, but no thanks. It is liquid gold, but that’s just too much.
Remember I started off this blog stating that I picked up my dad’s death certificate on Friday.
After I left the funeral home, I ran by his house to assess where I needed to start in cleaning. Before I hit the bridge to cross back into my town, I stopped at a Dollar Tree to pick up extra cleaning supplies. I was just about to check out, when something caught the corner of my eye. At that moment, I believe the entire store…maybe entire town…heard me scream. There in all its glory was WELCH’S GRAPE SODA! I grabbed all of their inventory…10 bottles!
I was telling the employee what it meant to me and she said my dad was talking to me. I could not agree more!
I could NOT hold back in opening that bottle as soon as I got in the car. The scent took me back to 20 years ago sitting in the car with my dad sharing it together. I could see him sitting in the passenger seat. He would take a sip and hand the bottle to me for a sip.
I sent Miranda a picture of my treasure. I rushed home to put in fridge and plan to drink one every day. (So far I’m holding up to this…) Hopefully by the time I stop in again, their stock will be replenished. This little something was exactly what my heart was craving.
Thanks, Daddy. I know that was you!