Perspective: A Proustian Moment In The Cereal Aisle

Jan 27, 2021

I was looking for oatmeal in the cereal aisle. When I looked up after putting my canister in the cart, I saw Farina on the top shelf. 

The smiling boy on the box triggered a tsunami of memories. I have not eaten Farina in years because the person who made it better than anyone else in the world was my father. In our house, my mother was the primary cook, but on weekends my father made breakfast...and his scrambled eggs or French toast were the best. His other culinary feat was Farina. For some reason, when my father prepared it, the consistency was perfect: soft and creamy without becoming too thick. It would form a perfectly smooth edge when poured on the plate. He would mix sugar and cinnamon as a topping, and then add melted butter. It was heaven, and to this day, I can't replicate it. Mine always turns out denser and a bit lumpy.

So, as I put oatmeal in my cart, I contemplated on what I once had and would never have again. My father died in 2016, five years after suffering a debilitating stroke that made most tasks impossible to do. Growing up and growing older consist of such quiet moments, when we silently mourn what we had but can never experience again. So, when you have a Farina moment, hold on to it for as long as you can.

I'm Frances Jaeger and that is my perspective.