2006 was an awful year, full of many
minor family tragedies. But among
the holiday messages was a UPS box
from brother Jim and his genteel wife Patty.
I put it next to the newly decorated Christmas tree,
before any other packages were laid there.
Unwrapped along with other Christmas presents,
it was again laid aside for several days. Wearily
returning home from my husband’s surgery
the next weekend, I spotted that candy box.
In need of succor, I opened the rainbow display
of California raisins arranged in diagonal bands
of pastel color. Tasting a few of the creamy
yogurt raisins satisfied me that night. It wasn’t
until days later, when I tried the dark chocolate
morsels, that I was instantly transported back
to Valentines’ Day in my childhood, when Dad
would burst through the kitchen door after work
the evening of a dreary, snowy February fourteenth,
bearing cheery red heart-shaped boxes of chocolate
covered raisins for each of us four kids (plus
a special large box of her own candy for Mommy).
It was always a surprise, always a wonderful treat.
We never got complacent about Dad’s gifts
of chocolate covered raisins on Valentines’ Day,
about this celebratory assurance of his love for us.
first published in PKA’s Advocate!
©2007 Bonnie Manion