Observe Junk Food Day to Remember and Celebrate a Loved One!
Author: Ginny Bouchard
National Junk Food Day is upon us! The day is dedicated to the unhealthy treats we try to avoid, but we love so much.
My daughter, Lily, and I use food as a method to remember and celebrate our hero, Master Sgt. John Bouchard. At 8 years old, Lily can sometimes struggle with remembering her dad and the things he loved. She regularly asks, “Would Dad like this” or “Did we ever do this with Dad?” One thing she does remember with certainty is her father’s favorite donut, the vanilla crème, from Dunkin Donuts. When we need our spirits lifted, we head to Dunkin Donuts for “Dad’s donut.” While this would not have been our first choice before, it has become a staple in our visits. Through this messy, sugary donut, we are comforted by a sense of John’s presence as we remember him covered in powdered sugar enjoying his favorite treat.
In the parking lot just before my husband’s funeral was to start, we handed out his two favorite combinations to family and friends: Reese’s Pieces and Sam Adams beer (yes, he was a New Englander). Anyone who flew with John knew they could find a stash of Reese’s somewhere in his gear if you looked hard enough. After his flights, there was always a cold Sam Adams waiting at home. These days, I sometimes place a few Reese’s Pieces in my daughter’s lunch box, knowing she will immediately think of her dad and smile during her school day. It’s amazing how memories and emotions can attach to objects such as someone’s favorite foods.
The "beer and Reese's salute" was a way to remember and celebrate John’s life, says Ginny Bouchard.
Master Sgt. John Charles Bouchard in his flight gear.
Lily and Ginny visited TAPS National Headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, to see John Bouchard's tribute tile on the memorial wall.
In our household we are strategically planning for National Junk Food Day. My little one has put in a request for Dad’s vanilla crème donut and pizza. Give yourself permission today to indulge on National Junk Food Day. Use your decadent food choices to remember and celebrate someone you love. If you can’t take part for some reason, share your loved one’s favorite snacks with friends or neighbors. Happy National Junk Food Day 2020!
Ginny Bouchard is the surviving spouse of Master Sgt. John Charles Bouchard. She lives in Georgia with their daughter Lily.
Photos courtesy of Ginny Bouchard