The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Patti Dobson

'Dad' moments still take me by surprise


July 1, 2018

Onion rings did me in.

Sitting in a local eatery, I skimmed over onion rings on the menu, and flashed to my dad.

Cue the waterworks.

I am not sure which was more difficult, trying to keep the tears in or letting my breath out. As I sat in the middle of my public struggle, I remembered a trip my dad and I took to Ruidoso.

We had traveled there for a presbytery gathering, and had stopped in one of his favorite places for lunch. As I looked through the menu, my dad said we had to order onion rings, and we would split them. I told him that he was allowed to have his own order, and he smiled and said an order was a mountain of rings so we had to share.

Battered, deep-fried onion rings? Sign me up.

A bit later, the promised mountain o'rings was delivered. It takes a while to plow through a mountain of rings. As we ate lunch, we chatted about presbytery and other church matters, family, and dogs. Nothing earth-shattering, yet such a profound memory for me now.

Those have been sneaking up on me, generally without warning. What's the saying? Sometimes memories sneak out of my eyes and slide down my cheeks. Even though those take me by surprise, they're generally accompanied by some "dad" moment. Those are a gift.

Recently, I made pizza for dinner. As I was throwing the crust together, I had a flash of the tofu soy cheese pizza I made for him years ago. It wasn't a success. The tofu crumbles and soy cheese turned into stone as they cooled. Dad took a piece (that we sort of chiseled out of the pizza), banged it on the table, and said, "We don't have to do this again."

There have been so many of these moments since his passing. These days, I try to overlook that initial gut-punch memory, and just let the memory and love wash over me. I miss dad incredibly. I talk to him daily. Even though he isn't physically here, I still live and behave in a manner that would honor him. I don't see that changing anytime soon.

Patti Dobson writes about faith for The Eastern New Mexico News. Contact her at:

[email protected]


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