“Mama, I want some Goody Juice. Can we make Goody Juice?” asked Jude.
“Oooo, yum. Sounds good.” said Gretchen, and led the way into the kitchen. “You remember who invented Goody Juice, don’t you?”
“Your Daddy. Right Mama?”
“That’s right. My Daddy. Your Granddaddy.”
“Your Daddy died, didn’t he Mama.”
“Yes, that’s right, Baby. My Daddy died a long time ago.” She pulls a carton of chocolate ice cream out of the freezer. “I sure miss him. He would have certainly loved you.”
“Why would he have loved me?” Jude asked, pulling out his stepladder and climbing up to the counter.
“Well, aside from just your being his Grandson, he would have loved that you’re so curious, and kind and funny. That you love to know things. Daddy was like that too, he loved to know things. He never stopped learning”
Gretchen takes a tall glass out of the cabinet and a carton of milk out of the fridge.
“What else did he love, Mama?”
“Well let’s see. He loved Goody Juice!”
Gretchen starts to scoop chocolate ice cream into the glass.
“He also liked cantaloupe.”
“Just like me!”
“Yep. And he liked crossword puzzles, and the funny papers, and all about weather. And talk radio, and looking things up in books and a good joke. He love a TV show called Barney Miller and car trips to historic landmarks, and the law, and old-time country music. And big bear hugs. He was a super good bear hugger.”
She pours milk into the glass.
“But he did not like snakes.”
“Oh no, he was the A Number One snake killer. Once, he picked up a giant rock and smashed a rattlesnake with his bare hands.”
“And he killed it. He saved you and your friend Kaysie.”
“That’s right. You know that story.” She starts to vigorously mix the ice cream and milk with a spoon.
“He was very brave, wasn’t he Mama?”
“Oh yes. Very brave and very smart. And wise. And handsome. I think you look a little bit like him.”
“I do? What bit?”
“Your big brown eyes.”
“What else did he love?”
“Oh…” she pauses for a second, remembering, then wipes a tear away. “He sure loved my Mama. And he sure loved me.”
“Well, I sure love Goody Juice!”
“I know!” She hands him the tall glass “and here you go.”
Jude takes the glass and eagerly starts to drink it.
“Thank you, Mama” he says and runs out of the kitchen.
Thank you Daddy. Happy Father’s Day.