Monday, July 31, 2017

Dad Made His Own Funeral Dinner


His business card reads: "Have Fedora & Dr. Who Scarf Will Travel," underlined.

His claim to fame is a quote from Donald Trump which reads: "Nobody reports that, but you do. That's why I like you."

Pete "DatechGuy" Ingemi is a blogger http://datechguyblog.com/from Massachusetts with a long resume. I ran into him at the Catholic Marketing Network Trade Show where he was selling his book, Hail Mary, and gathering interviews for his radio program. He interviewed me, but I could tell by looking at him that he had a story. I wasn't wrong.

He heard what my book, Gift of Death, was about, then told me about his father, who died in his kitchen right after making his own funeral dinner.

"He was sitting at the kitchen table with his face in his hand," Pete explained. "Being Sicilian, he always sat where he could see all the doors -- the front door, the side door and the cellar door." Pete's brother Antonio arrived first with their mother and at first glance they thought he was sleeping. But when they touched him they realized he was cold. This was a guy whose ancestors hailed from Italy. Years earlier he'd owned a bar and restaurant called the Mohawk Club. Cooking was a thing he knew how to do. And he loved to do it. "He loved to see people eat."

On this particular night, even though he was expecting only four for dinner, he'd cooked food for an army. Spaghetti, meatballs, peppers and onions, steaks, chicken and pot after pot of sauce; traditional Sicilian dishes of all kinds. They were on the stoves and in the ovens in the upstairs kitchen and in the spare room, and in the cellar where the old restaurant stove was stored. There was food in toaster ovens that they didn't discover for days. Everywhere you looked, there was something wonderful cooking. "As Italians we naturally always made more food than we needed to," he said, "but this was ridiculous."

As the family gathered over the next several days they were well provided for. "Everybody just ate. There was so much food and everybody loved my father's cooking." Suffice it to say nobody went hungry.

Did he have a premonition? "Nobody knows. But it sure seemed that way," Pete told me. Earlier in the day he'd called the priest, and he talked to a brother he hadn't seen in a while. He called his wife at work, a thing he rarely did. He didn't say goodbye in those calls. Instead, he said farewell in a way that was uniquely him, channeling his love into his food.

If you're interested in Pete's book on Hail Mary - The Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer, here's the link: http://ow.ly/sI0S30e05H2

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