Thank you, Lucinda Berry Hill, for this wonderful poem about my candy dish! ❤
During the grieving process, the senses surprise us at the strangest times.
When I was a kid, my mama had a red moon & stars candy dish. It was an anniversary gift from my daddy one year. Mama and I used to take a taxi to the Rexall drug store. She let me pick out a pound of candy for her dish from the Brach candy stand. I chose the candy very carefully (when you are little these are life and death decisions ). You know, some candy weighs more than others and you want just as many pieces as you can get in the sack because it doesn’t take very long to add up to a pound! Once I finally got the candy selected and weighed, we took it home and put it in her moon and stars candy dish.
It was a house rule that nobody got candy until after dinner. Once in a while I decided to risk breaking that rule. Rules were made to be broken, after all. I used to sneak into the dining room and try to lift the lid on the candy dish just as carefully and quietly as possible. No matter how careful I was, that dish made such a racket! It rang throughout the house! It was close to impossible to make a clean getaway!!! Sometimes I think mama heard the lid ringing but just chose to ignore it.
As mama got older she developed arthritis in her wrists and had a hard time hanging on to things with a firm grip. Well, one day she was dusting and somehow the lid to the candy dish got broken. She called me at work to let me know what happened and I could tell she was upset by it. To be honest it upset me a bit too because I thought of the happy memories associated with the candy dish.
When I got home that evening I told my husband about mom’s accident. He asked if she broke both the dish and the lid and I said, “No, I think it was just the lid.” He said, “I’ll tell you what – we’ll look around at some antique stores and try to get her a new one.” I thought that was a fine idea.
Well, we searched high and low for a red moon and stars candy dish. We found blue, green, clear, brown. No red. Oh – we did see a red one but it was not on the long pedestal. I knew if we were going to replace that candy dish it needed to be just like the old one. The search went on until…
One day close to Christmas time we were at an antique store and I heard a very familiar sound and my ears perked up!!! It was the sound of someone trying to put the lid back on a moon and stars candy dish!!! That is without a doubt the most distinct sound I’ve ever heard in my life. I followed the sound – racing and praying with every step – “Oh Lord please let it be a red one – let it be a RED one!!!”
By the time I got to the booth, the person who was looking at the candy dish had left. I thought, “Oh no, they took the dish with them!” I was still praying as I frantically looked around. There it was… and you will not believe this… it was RED!!!
I wanted to hear that sound just one more time before I took it up to the front desk. I lifted the lid and listened to the old familiar ring… suddenly I was six years old again, for just a second. We gave mama the candy dish for Christmas that year! It made her smile – and when she smiled, it made me smile! Since my daddy’s death some years before, smiles were few and far between. I was very glad that I could make mama smile!
Don’t let anyone tell you that your memories are silly – or that they don’t count – or that they don’t matter. They do – and they always will.
Mama is gone now. I still have that candy dish in my home. I never keep candy in it, but just between you and me, I still walk over and lift the lid and lower it just so I can be six years old again, for just a second! ❤