The Lost Chocolates

By Lynn Leissler
Eagle Point

– Silver Prize Winner ($35) Valentine’s ContestEvery day this week a new winner will be revealed.

A friend of mine grouses about commercialism, cards and chocolate ruling the world on Valentine’s Day. But the other night I proved him wrong.

My sister had come to help me following foot surgery. Trying to navigate crutches and a cup of coffee proved precarious, so my live-in cook and cleaning lady earned my deep appreciation.
We dug out boxes once housed in our mother’s attic and pored over old family photo albums and letters, opening our hearts to what we might learn. I came across a bundle of sympathy cards sent to me when she died—a surprising large bundle. The cards and meaningful personal messages affirmed how loved I am. And if I were keeping score, it would be one for the greeting card industry.

We found love letters tucked in a Brach’s Chocolates box. We smiled and cried at the letters, but the box also touched me. Each Christmas my father bought chocolates for Mom, and she saved the empty boxes to hold sewing supplies. We thought of our mother’s bittersweet discovery months after Dad died. He had hidden a box of chocolate covered cherries in the attic, and then forgotten to tuck them in her stocking when Christmas rolled around. That warm afternoon, Mom cried as she clutched the box of soft chocolates and said how much she missed him. “He must miss you, too,” I said. “He’s still giving you gifts.” Mom smiled through her tears.

The companies that sell holiday trinkets have dollar signs on their minds, but their wares serve another purpose for the recipient. I would say to my skeptical friend that in truth, love rules the world on Valentine’s Day—and throughout the rest of the year.

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