As I drove past a gas station with a mini-mart, the sign caught my eye. “Chicken gizzards,” it advertised. Those words took me decades back in time. I was a newlywed again, in the tiny kitchen of the single-wide trailer we lived in, across the highway from the Air Force base where my new husband worked repairing aircraft radios on the flight line. I stood at the kitchen counter, dredging chicken gizzards in flour as the shortening melted and heated up in the iron skillet for frying them. A plate lined with paper towels was at the ready to soak up the extra grease as they came out of the skillet. The long box of Reynolds Wrap was right nearby. I would pull off square sheets to wrap the gizzards once they cooled some, making neat little packets to put in the lunch box my hubby carried to work every day, which I handed to him early each morning with pride… and a kiss.
I smiled at the memories, but melancholy overwhelmed me, too. I felt loneliness grip my heart as my eyes teared up, my chin quivered, and I choked up. This month will mark the sixteenth anniversary of my dear one’s death. Grief still has the power to sneak up on me in odd moments. This time, after a few minutes, it lifted. I saw that face, smiling at me. The face of the one who kissed me back, and thanked me for making the lunch he loved. Who told me again how the guys in the shop would say, “Anderson, you’ve got it too good.”
And how he replied, every time, “Don’t I know it!”