My first instinct was to save it all. Candy from Easter or Halloween. I would spread it out. Sort it by taste and then color. Count it. Figure out how many days it would last. Not wanting to run out. Supplementing with Christmas, or Valentine’s, possibly birthday…how could I keep the candy supply chain alive?
It became quite clear on our trip to Jerry’s Jack and Jill grocery store, that this was the furthest thing from my Grandma Elsie’s mind. The first thing she picked up was a bag of coconut toasted marshmallows. She ripped open a corner and placed them in the child seat at the front of the cart. “Grandma!” I shouted a warning. “It’s fine,” she said. “We’re going to pay for it.” “But we’ll get in trouble.” “No, I know the people here.” And indeed she did. Never hiding her joy of these sugary treats, she ate them right in front of the butcher, and the stock boy. She said hello to everyone, popping them into her mouth, one after the other. By the third aisle, it became quite clear that we weren’t getting into trouble, so when she looked at me offering, I agreed. They were delicious. “Don’t you want to save any?” I asked. She looked bewildered. “But you love them…” I said. “What am I going to do with all that love?” she smiled.
We placed the empty bag on the counter at the cash register. It was my favorite trip ever to the grocery store.
It became so clear. Nothing was worth anything, if it wasn’t spent. Candy on the bedroom floor had no taste. And it became even more true with emotion. Courage had to be exercised. Love had to be given away. Or it meant nothing. I suppose we think we’re safe or something, if we hoard it all, but I’m afraid it’s just not true.
I want to live this way. So sure at the end of the day that I’ve laid it empty upon the counter. My sacks of courage, and victories, my joy, my woes, even, and especially, all my love. So sure that there will be more tomorrow. Again, and again, I will taste this life.