peanut butter cups and kit kats.

September 22, 2011 § 3 Comments

This week, I’ve had this insane craving for peanut butter cups. I don’t eat them often, but there was something about this week that made it difficult for me to abstain. In fact, I did the exact opposite and devoured an entire package of peanut butter cups from Duane Reade. I was probably a horrific sight to see after the crime, but it just felt right. It felt like being a kid again — before I knew that eating a whole pack of candy was the wrong thing to do, before I knew anything really.

When I was young, there were these special nights when Papa came home from work with treats for my older sister, Dianne, and me. Ate Dianne usually got Crunch Bars or something of the like, but I always got Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Kit Kats.

I never knew why Papa always got me peanut butter cups and Kit Kats. I don’t remember telling him that I favored the two types of chocolate, and, actually, I have always been pretty impartial. I’d eat anything. Nevertheless, Papa would come home with those treats in tow, each type seemingly chosen with one of his daughters in mind.

Maybe he wanted to be consistent. Maybe he saw how savagely I devoured them when he first gave the peanut butter cups to me, and he thought, “Well, that’s what Milna likes best!” Maybe that’s all the store had. Maybe it was random. Or, maybe he wanted to make it a tradition, something sweet for his daughters to remember him by.

It happens to be one of the few things I do remember so vividly about him. It makes me wonder about him. I wonder where he got them from. Was it from schoolkids selling candy for a fundraiser? Was there a store near his dealership in Jersey City? Did he stop by there every few days to pick up lotto tickets?  And, while he was on line, did he throw the chocolates on the counter and add it to his bill? Did he think to himself, “While I’m at it, might as well? For the girls.” Did he even think in English?

I don’t know, and I wish I could ask him. It may not seem like any of this really matters, but there is so much I’d ask him if I could talk to him today. And it wouldn’t have to be deep. It wouldn’t have to be life-changing. I wouldn’t need to know if he was proud of me or what he’d do differently about his life.

I just want to know more about him.

As time passes, I feel that I forget more and more about my father. I knew him when I was too young to know anything, to appreciate anything, to savor anything.  Sometimes, I think that I’m forgetting the sound of his voice. Like I’m losing what little I have left of him. And that’s frightening to me.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of another year in what’s been a lifetime of growing, learning, and living without my father. Perhaps that’s why my subconscious craved for a piece of my innocent past, a taste of what I once had.

A father who brought home peanut butter cups for his youngest daughter, the one he’d never really get to know too.

§ 3 Responses to peanut butter cups and kit kats.

  • Ate DarL says:

    This made me cry. I feel for you, Milna – because when he was sick and it didn’t look good, I was hurting for you. I wondered to myself, “Will she ever know how much her Papa loved her? Will she ever know the kind of man he was? Will she miss him?” I cried for you and your sister, hurting deep inside because I knew what he would miss in your lives. He wanted everything for you two.

    I remember sitting in the hospital next to him and promising myself that I would stop taking my own father for granted. As you know, I was quite unruly back then. I didn’t get along with my parents. And I remember your father wanting to adopt me. He was a wonderful man – the greatest. I learned a lot from him and from the way he loved you and his family. I remember wanting that type of man when I grew up. (And I think I found him. I often compare Vinny to your father’s kindness and thoughtfulness.) I consider myself very lucky to have had him as an example of what a genuinely good father and husband would be.

    As for your treats, he would stop by a store (but like you, I don’t know what store) before he would come home – just to bring you something. He would call it a “surprise”. He’d come through the door and say “Girls, I have a surprise for you!”, and you would both run to him and jump into his arms. He always brought you something, and sometimes I was lucky enough to get a candy bar or a pretty pencil with a sparkly dangly thing at the end too.

    Your father was the most wonderful man. He was my favorite. I loved him like he was my own father. And I miss him very much.

    You and your sister are very much like him. Just look at each other and you won’t forget. He’s so much in both of you.

  • Ate Darl, thank you so so so so much. It’s actually so reassuring to hear someone else remember this; it makes this memory even more real to me. I cried so hard when I read your comment! It meant so much to me.

    Also, I know how much he loved you — like his own daughter too.

    Thank you so much. I needed this!

  • alysha says:

    Love you mil.

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