I put on my jacket the other day, that I had not worn since last winter, and placed my hands in the pockets to keep them warm.
Inside was a surprise that caught me off guard. Something that I was not expecting. Something that triggered good memories.
Inside I found a hard peppermint candy that was without a wrapper.
This doesn’t mean anything to any of you reading this post, but to me, this meant everything.
It’s funny how something so small can send your brain into an overload of memories. Memories that are close to your heart, but far out of mind. Well at least until you find something like a peppermint candy in your jacket pocket.
Peppermint candies remind me of my grandma – my MeMa. Someone that I loved dearly, but have been without for seven years.
You see, my MeMa loved to suck on peppermint candy. Even though it probably wasn’t good for her dentures – well whenever she hadn’t lost her dentures some where in her nursing home room and came over for dinner with a pair that were a little too big for her mouth. She would keep handfuls of these candies in her pocket, so she could share with the people she loved the most. She even secretly shared with our family dog at the time. As soon as MeMa left for the evening, you would see Carmel walk past with two or three of them stuck to her golden fur. We would all just laugh. That was Alice for you.
Luckily for me, she left behind amazing memories like this one, that at moments when I least expect it, pop up. The times the memories come back, are the times you need them the most. Funny how that happens. It’s not just a coincidence. It’s a reminder that you once had someone who loved you very much with you on earth, but even now, you have someone who loves you very much in Heaven.
Even before my MeMa passed, she wasn’t actually with us. At least her mind wasn’t. She suffered from Alzheimer’s, and the memories that I remembered of times spent with her, she didn’t recall. It was hard. It was even more difficult when she passed, and no more memories were able to be made. I often cried thinking that she had died without remembering me.
But the other day, when I found that peppermint candy in my pocket, something hit me. My MeMa had not forgotten our memories together. It just took going to Heaven with a fresh new mind and body to help her remember. And the other day, after seven years, she wanted me to know she hadn’t forgotten.
Some of you may be wondering what this post has to do with you. I know some of you are dealing with a lot of heart break right now. Maybe you lost someone close to you. Maybe someone living isn’t in their right mind anymore. Maybe some of you are getting ready to say goodbye to someone.
Trust me, I know. None of this is easy, and in this moment, all you feel is sadness and confusion. But I will promise you something. That person may be gone physically, mentally, and/or emotionally, but they will forever be present in your heart and memories. I know, it’s kind of cliche, but you forget this in times of tragedy and heartbreak.
Maybe right away, or a few years down the road – whenever that loved one knows you need it the most, they will put something like a peppermint candy in your jacket pocket, and you’ll remember that they are still with you.
Memories are amazing gifts. You only get so much time with the people you love the most on earth, but the memories you made with those people in that short amount of time, will last forever. And no, that isn’t as good as actually having that person, but it’s better than not having them at all.
I put my jacket on the other day, stuck my hands inside the pocket, and found a surprise. I pulled out an unwrapped peppermint candy. I held that candy in my open palm, and in that moment, MeMa was holding my hand and telling me she hadn’t forgotten.
I hope that one day, when you need it the most, you all find your peppermint candy.