No Reason

I woke up crying this morning for no reason.

Then I remembered the reason.

Yesterday I felt like making pizza. When my brother and sister asked what they could bring over, I gave them a list of ingredients.

They brought my parents and they sat in the backyard while I started a fire in our wood-burning oven.

Then I got it.

I understood why I wanted to make pizza.

The oven was a gift from Kim. She was so sick of me looking at it online and then deciding it was too expensive that she bought it for me.

“We have the money,” she said.

“Yes, but we don’t really need it,” I said.

“We’ll both benefit from it. You’ll cook on it, I’ll eat what you cook.”

“I just don’t think I’ll use it enough.”

We had this conversation so many times that she decided to buy it without telling me.

She gave it to me for the first Father’s day after Elena died. She printed out the web page and told me when it would be delivered.”

“Thank you,” I said. And then, because I’m an idiot, “do you think I should cancel it? We don’t really need it.”

“It’s not from me,” she smiled. “It’s from Tara.”

Like a black lab has a credit card and could order off the internet.

“Thank you,” I said again.

She gestured at the dog.

“Sorry,” I said and addressing Tara said, “thanks puppy.”

Tara would die three months later.

I placed another log on the fire yesterday and remembered Tara, Elena, and Kim – the three reasons I had this oven.

“Do you think you should?” Maggie had asked. “Don’t burn them.”

She’s right. The last couple of times I had rushed the process and needed too big a fire because the stones weren’t hot enough and I had burned the sides of the pizza while undercooking the bottom.

I decided to treat the fire like Kim would.

Start it hours ahead and just take your time. Talk to the people around you. Focus on the moment. What’s the rush? Why hurry?

No reason.

So I continued the fire for several hours then brushed the embers to the side and cooked nine small pizzas.

Kimmy – they came out perfectly. You would have liked them.

I know you ate them burnt and said, “What’s the big deal. They aren’t that burnt. They’re fine.”

But they weren’t fine. They were burnt.

Yesterday, they were perfect. Kim, you would have eaten them and tipped your head back to look at me.

“These are good,” you’d say, “Not like the usual. Usually, you burn the hell out of them.”

Published in: on August 24, 2016 at 7:17 am  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Daniel,
    Kim loves you so much too.
    Thinking of your family often.

  2. As I said last night during our remembrance at the garden. We want to comfort you and some how you are the one that comforts us with your personal, do authentic. Thank you. Kim’s light will live on .

  3. I heard about your loss and wanted to share this with you.

    “Our physical death isn’t the end, but rather is a step forward in God’s plan and a time of indescribable joy for the person making the transition.
    When you’re the one left behind—the one losing a friend or loved one—the pain of that loss is very real. But there’s a lot of comfort in knowing you’ll see him or her again. ”

    You can read more at:

  4. Dear Daniel
    I’m crying quietly on my couch as I write this…
    I remember our coming together at my parents and celebrating what Kim loved, Italian Christmas Eve and family….
    it was important to my dad and mom, you all are so important and making that memory and sharing and then we stopped and I’m sorry…
    you and Tony would compare pizzas and proper temperature and how long do you heat the oven before placing the pizza…etc etc, yes he’s burnt the outside

    oh Dear Daniel Dear Maggie…there are no words to comfort you right now, how can I comfort you when here I am 10.years later reading your gift, your.comforting words…
    I periodically would.log onto your Dear Elena, there are times I would wake up or just be a typical day and think of her, then how you all were…. out of the blue less than 3 weeks ago my husband told me he was thinking about her, he met her maybe once? Out of the blue our oldest Nicci told me she’s been thinking of Elena…. I don’t know what this means, but here we are….
    there are no words….
    my heart is with you
    my heart is with Maggie….
    Paola Pecora Olson

  5. Daniel,
    When next you come to Scotland we will fire up our pizza oven and we can cook/burn pizzas together. Alan, Jane, Isaac and Hope will come too and you can share memories and tell
    us all about your family.

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