Love in a Candy Box
My father was a romantic.
He loved my mother dearly and he loved her mother, who lived with us most of my life, very much also just as he had loved his own.
He showed such a great deal of respect for her and for his own parents and as my maternal Grandmother said.."He is better to me than 20 other sons".
She lived with us my whole life and never paid for anything herself. My father would not allow her to have to pay her own way.
My father was a scientist and vice president and chief chemist of a well known chemical company, who for many reasons, later opened a soda fountain/ice cream shop that eventually became a commercial stationers store in a tiny town, selling stationary to local businesses and cards and school supplies to walk ins.
He took a beating money wise from malls and the new mega stationers.
But he was honest to a fault in all his dealings, his customers loved him and he was ever the romantic.
Sometimes for no reason at all he would bring home boxes of candy to my mother and grandmother after work.
I remember him walking home without his new coat one frigid night because he had given it to a poor man--- "Its only a block walk", he had said to my mother--- the candy tucked under his arm.
In my grandmothers bedroom , which was next to my own, inside the closet on a shelf , were old candy boxes filled with her crochet work (she made filet crochet that was amazing), news clippings of her friends deaths, births of grandchildren, marriages, etc., cards from holidays, mementos and tiny souvenirs of times past.
One was used to house her "good gloves" and "my good scarves".
I once asked her why she saved all those boxes. "Oh, " she said, "its a shame to waste things". "Yes", I said, "but you could fit this all in one or two hat boxes".
She looked at me with those deep gray eyes , now half blind and said , "But there is so much love in these boxes".
My father passed away many years ago in February.
( Originally posted March 6, 2006)
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