Today would have been Richard’s seventieth birthday. He was a year and half older than me so it already felt strange to have been the same age as he was when he died. Next fall I will turn sixty-nine, the same age my mother was when she died twenty-seven years ago. Chronological markers fixing time seem less and less meaningful as I age. Given that years lived indicate a multitude of experiences, the numbers seem less relevant as a measurement of time passing.
I must admit, numbers always seemed very fluid and slippery to me. When I was around six years old, I remember that the numbers one through twenty had distinct cartoon like characteristics. They were either masculine or feminine, had color coded costumes and a wide range of personalities. They did not like to be restricted in school. Richard, on the other hand, loved the specificity of numbers and his memory for dates tied to life experience was remarkable. Therapy clients meeting him casually on the street some ten years after they terminated their work with him, would be astonished when he asked after their ill aunt who had featured largely in their lives back then.
Richard could tell you the date that he bought that particular claw hammer, how much it cost, and which dog was sitting in his truck on that sunny day in spring as he drove it home. He was fascinated by the ages of his friends and family and celebrities that spanned his life. He was my calendar by which I could spark my memories to line up in the proper order. I apologize in advance to my children that I will not be leaving behind an accurate linear chronicle of our lives together. I can no longer tell them, “Ask Papa.”
But this date today holds a particular swirl of loving nostalgia remembering our thirteen years of celebration before children and then the following years with their own special contributions. Early on, I remember discovering his love of all desserts with chocolate chip mint flavoring. I made him just such a cake in a lamb mold belonging to my sister-in-law. He was so delighted, and I knew I had scored a hit with this boyfriend of mine in our first year together.
Today, my daughters and I will toast him with our own chocolate mint desserts shared in cyberspace. I am still in room quarantine for two more days at Kendal having spent a delicious twelve days with my older daughter and her family two weeks ago in nearby Lakewood. I have limited access to goodies right now but happen to have an organic chocolate mint cream candy leftover from a Christmas party. Together the three of us will share the sweetness of our beloved husband/father.
12 thoughts on “Chocolate Mint”
Thank you for sharing this wonderful glimpse into the years of love you and Richard shared. I remember he and Norman driving to UCONN just to get ice cream! I’ll bet he got chocolate mint!
I hope you enjoy that last chocolate mint today and the great outdoors when you’re out of quarantine!
Much Love, Val Giglio
Thanks Val, xoJ
I was hoping that you would write today.
I wished him a happy birthday in a prayer and told him that “I am so glad that he was born and that I love him forever.
Much Love to you 💕
Forever is just right for me as well, xoJ
Happy Birthday to you, Richard. I am sure since your return to the World of Spirit you are enjoying the great pleasures of chocolate mint any time you wish. Judy, I hope you and the girls enjoy your chocolate mint candy and all the memories of sweet Richard, husband and father and memory keeper for many people. xoxo Judith
He was indeed a memory keeper for many, Thanks Judith, J
What a beautiful tribute to your mate. I feel as if I got to know him a touch, and to see what a tender relationship you two had. It’s a bittersweet post, unlike the chocolate chip mint, which also happens to be my husband’s favorite. Enjoy the day.
I knew we had more in common…thanks, Judi
I ate a chocolate mint ice cream bar today in honor of Richard’s birth. I am also a fan of the chocolate-mint combo. The taste and sensation keeps the memories alive in our bodies. much love, bonnie
we (Richard as well) are grateful! xoJ
Nice blog 🙂