To Anthony, my son:
Don’t waste time with a funeral. I have only one request: I want you to bake my ashes into the bread.
I always imagined ending up in pumpernickel, the most nuanced of all breads. Pick a batch of dough, and empty my urn. Don’t keep any ashes to scatter in some field of flowers. Be strong, Anthony.
As the kneading machine molds your father into loaves, think of all the games of catch we’ve had – just you and I, and the golden-brown dinner roll flying between us. And as my loaves enter the industrial oven, remember all the presents I’ve given you – beautiful baguettes, all topped with bows. They were your grandfather.
Obviously this can’t affect the taste of our product. But you’ll figure it out. Try exchanging ashes for flour. Flour is a noble ingredient, and I would be humbled to be its equal.
Don’t tell the customers. I love them all dearly, but they cannot know.
Don’t tell your mother, either. Give her a jar of breadcrumbs; say it’s my ashes. She never loved the bread like we did, Anthony. She let your grandpa go stale before finally making him into croutons.
When you remember me, let it be as a slice of bread. Toasted, with butter. Know that I will always love you, Anthony. More than your mother, but less than the bread.