It has become a ritual for a few friends and I to go out to Sunday breakfast. When we started, mother was still alive, Dad was still able to watch over her for short periods of time, and I desperately needed those few hours away. With mother gone, and Dad less able, I have been taking Dad with me. He enjoys my friends, and getting out for something besides the usual appointments.
After mass I come back home, pick him up, and we head out to wherever the group is gathering. The airport cafe is usually his favorite as he is likely to run into a few cronies, and see some cool planes. Last Sunday the friends were out of town, so it was just Dad and I.
As we started out to the airport, I told him the KOC were having their pancake breakfast at the parish hall just down the street. I get a couple blocks past the parish hall and Dad says " Oh hell, might as well give the money to the church, where it will do some good. Let's go to the parish hall breakfast." I have taken Dad to KOC pancake breakfasts before. The food was plentiful and good, the price was more than reasonable, and the guys were very helpful, so he knew what to expect.
Dad thinks of himself as an atheist, so anytime he's willing to give to church projects I keep my mouth shut, mostly.
We get there, pay up, and I stuff our tickets in the wine drawing jar. Get Dad seated, and ask him what he wants to drink. "I'll have coffee and orange juice, please, Sis."
Off I go to find the beverage cart, it has two identical jugs of orange juice, and two of coffee. I hold up the one that seems like regular coffee, and one of the guys nods, yes. Serve our coffee, and go back for the orange juice. As I'm pouring our glasses full I smell booze, laugh, and tell Dad, "Wow, they've started serving Mimosas!"
One of the KOC fellas takes me aside and says, "One pitcher is Mimosas, but the fellow that made them forgot to mark it, so we don't know which is which!" No worries! (I know which pitcher is the Mimosas.)
Dad tries it, not sure he likes it, and gives me his glass, sending me back with another glass for regular orange juice for him.
When we have eaten our fill of the delicious fare, I go back for another Mimosa. (I still know which pitcher is the Mimosas, though I have observed some of the KOC fellas doing a lot of taste testing).
I ask Dad if he is sure he doesn't want one, "seeings how he's not on the church's radar, and we are close enough to crawl home from the parish hall".
"Did they know what they were getting when they accepted you?" he asked with a glint in his eye.
"Of course, why I remember my MIL Mary telling Father Dillon there would be interesting times ahead and I was going to be his ticket to heaven."