stories about my father

Vitamin C

This evening we had a friend over for dinner. When she was leaving, she asked that I walk her and her little boy out to the car since it was very slippery due to the recent snow fall. I decided to put on my father's blue, winter coat. During the winter season, he would often wear this jacket on his way to work at New York University.

As I was helping this friend in the car, I placed my hand in one of the pockets and found an unopened package of M&Ms. I just smiled as it reminded me of my dad. I assume he bought this on his trip home from the city, perhaps at Penn Station, as a sort of carry-over before dinner. As my dad would say, "it was only something to 'nosh' on."

When it came to nutrition, my mom was a strong advocate for eating healthy. My dad believed in eating right also, but he also believed in enjoying some of the things my mom would frown against. Over the years, this was a funny thing to watch as my parents sought to find a happy middle.

When I attended boarding schools and colleges, I always knew who sent me a care package before ever opening the box. Mom always had some unique address label, while my dad had a different way of identifying the package. On the outside of my dad's care package, he would have little messages which said, "Vitamin C" or "Fragile." In case you didn't know, the letter "C" stood for something other than a bottle of pills. When I opened the box, it was filled with different candies, but it was also filled with other important things he wanted me to have. Attached to one of the candies, I would always find a sticky note that had an encouraging message just from him.

As I looked at that unopened package this evening, it reminded me that my father was full of surprises and always up to something. Moreover, he was always up to touching someone's heart, especially his family's. Dad, you touched my heart again this evening. I know I will do the same with my children especially when they have sleep overs, go to camp, attend college, and even get married. May I live life keeping others off guard and surprising others as you did, hopefully for the purpose of reminding others that they are loved and quite special to me.

In case you're wondering, I put that bag of M&M's back into the pocket as a reminder that it's never too late to remind someone how much you love them.

Dad, even though you're gone for now, thanks for reminding me of how much you loved us. BTW, I miss you, and wish you were home this evening. ;-)