I like Necco wafers. For me there is excitement in the unwrapping of the end of the package and placing that little chalky-flavored bit of candy right in the middle of my tongue. Those little bits of flavor bring back special memories of childhood for me. One of my favorite recurring memories is of my grandfather sitting in his recliner, smoking his pipe and sharing his wafers with the grandkids. The rule was that Pop-pop would open the candy roll and take the first one, then each grandchild would receive one in order of your descending age, but … if you didn’t take the color that came up when it was your turn, you had to wait until it was your turn again during the next round. Sometimes one of the kids would choose to not take the little piece of candy that was offered and would try to get the next one that came up because that was his or her “favorite”. That never worked with my grandfather! He would remind us of the “rule” and how we each took our turn, and we each had a choice to take what we were offered. Then he would go to the next grandchild. There were many times we would take the little wafer when we didn’t care for that particular flavor! As I grew up, I wondered if we took it because we didn’t want to “miss our turn” or because we didn’t want to disappoint Pop-pop.
I learned a lot of life lessons from those rolls of chalky candies. I learned that life is good – even if whatever you are dealing with isn’t your favorite part. I learned that when we are given the freedom of choice we must accept the consequences of our actions. I learned that as I grew older, there were more and more people I needed to share with in order to be able to enjoy the piece of life I was offered.
And then there were all the flavors! How could I not learn that life was about all of the flavors and experiences that we encounter? Some of were hard to distinguish between, but others were so rich and colorful that you could not help but want to savor them slowly and enjoy them down to the very … last … moment. ahhh…
I don’t think my grandfather planned on teaching me or my siblings or my cousins all these lessons from a simple roll of candy. But I think it would please him to know that he taught us how to love life, to love others, and to love the simple things that memories are made from.
Miss you Pop-pop.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8a