I was reading today about a study that suggested drinking coffee could delay Alzheimer’s. My first thought after reading the article was that it didn’t do my dad much good, and he drank coffee morning, noon and night.
But then I thought about it in another way. Wonder if all of my dad’s coffee drinking (I did a rough estimate based on his habits and age and estimated over 85,000 cups in his lifetime) delayed the disease by years? Dad was in his mid-seventies when he started to show signs of dementia. Maybe his love of coffee (he would drink it with anything, pizza, pasta, you name it) held off the crumbling of his mind for a few years?
Unfortunately, there’s no way to know and hindsight is 20/20. If we knew what was to come, and that his coffee habit was keeping Alzheimer’s at bay for a few years, perhaps we would have lived our lives differently. Sadly, I doubt we would have changed a thing.
Other than a cigarette, a cup of coffee is the thing that reminds me of my dad the most. Even the last time I saw him alive, he asked for a cup of coffee.
Coming from Ireland, one might have expected my dad to be a tea drinker, but he drank coffee like it was water. He drank coffee with every meal, and in-between meals as well. Both my parents had a love of coffee, and they were from that generation that drank it throughout the day and also at night. How did they avoid getting the caffeine jitters back then? Now there are so many “experts” that warn people shouldn’t ingest caffeine after 3 p.m. if they want to get a good night’s sleep.
My dad liked his coffee with cream and sugar. I can still remember how the sweetened, caramel-colored liquid looked and smelled in his gold mug, the one he used when I was a kid. They drank instant coffee at home, but always appreciated the brewed stuff when they went out to eat. In fact, they almost always ended up enjoying a fresh pot of coffee when they were at a restaurant, because really, who drinks coffee at a Pizza Hut? My parents!
I would always cringe at the odd combination of food my parents would eat with coffee, from pizza to fish to pasta. But my dad had always lived that way, claiming that when he was a young man in New York City, he survived for years on coffee and hot dogs.
And yes, in case you are wondering, I love coffee as well. I’m a bit snobbier about my coffee, and no, I don’t drink it with pizza, but it is one of my favorite beverages.