We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. Many of the extended family came from around the world to see my dad and get together as a family. Celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving was a great way to feed the family while we honored the Canadian side of our extended family.
All families have holiday traditions and ours is no exception. Every year at Thanksgiving my dad makes a winter fruit pie. None of us really know what’s in the pie. We just know three things: It is delicious, it is made with love, and it’s tradition. There’s also something about the fact that my dad makes it. He doesn’t generally cook or bake, so this makes it extra special. He goes out of his way to make this pie, and tradition has it that every year there is a secret ingredient, known only by the baker. We never know what that secret ingredient is (though some may say that the whole pie is one big secret ingredient.) We call it Grandpa’s Winter Fruit Pie.
As we were communicating about the weekend’s menu, my mom asked one question: Who will make Grandpa’s Winter Fruit Pie?
My dad’s pie making days are over. He is on hospice and every breath he takes feels more precious. When I am with him, I watch anxiously as he sleeps in his recliner. I watch his breathing the way I used to watch my oncology patients, consciously noting the rhythm and depth, seeing how labored it is, watching for pain or discomfort. He no longer has the strength to roll, cut, measure and mix.
The task of baking this pie fell to me. The day before we left for Rochester, I rolled, cut, measured and mixed. With a bit of extra dough I cut out a small heart to put in the center of the pie. I then carefully traced a G for Grandpa in the middle of the heart. I brushed a bit of butter on the crust, and sprinkled it with sugar, just like the recipe told me to do. I put it in the oven – 450 degrees for 10 minutes, followed by a half hour at 375 degrees.
As I waited for the pie to bake I thought about my dad and about legacies. Legacies – those things that are handed down from generation to generation; a way to honor the past even as we live in the present. My dad is passing down a far greater legacy than pie. He is passing down a faith that has taken him through life and has not grown old. He is passing down trust in a God who he loves with all his heart, soul, and mind. He is passing down memories of loving and laughing well. But along with those intangible things, there are the tangible and one of them is Winter Fruit Pie.
Whether it be a legacy of pie or a legacy of faith, a legacy is not to be squandered. It’s to be taken reverently and used well. My pie will need a bit of work. It did not measure up to my dad’s. But that’s the thing with a legacy – we take it and we make it our own. We roll, cut, measure and mix so that we too will have something to leave to those who come after us.
5 thoughts on “Roll, Cut, Measure & Mix – Love, Legacy & Pie”
My dad probably never baked a pie in his life, but my, he loved to grill steaks, burgers, and sometimes chicken for us! I have trouble using his grill now, I tend to get tearful and use an oven instead. The food isn’t nearly as good, but I don’t cry over it. He died 3 years ago, and i think I miss him more this year than ever. But I wouldn’t bring him back if I could, he is with the Lord and I would not take that from him. I look forward to when I can join him. I am glad to think back on all I did to spend time with him and love on him, and have no regrets. I am glad your family is realizing the preciousness of time with your father and cherishing the moments.
I love this entry, Marilyn and the sweet photo of your precious Daddy looking so lovingly at you and your pie. Thank you for reminding us of constantly building legacies as we continue our journey of this life here on earth while ‘awaiting’ the
triumpant entry to our truly Kingdom home and being met by our King….
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Beautifully honors the love and devotion you have for your Dad. And resonates with all of us who hold legacies with reverence. What a dear photo of the two of you; so much love in that gaze. My heart is with you.
Thanks Marilyn. Well done.