Yesterday I saw boxes of cherry cordial candies at Target while I was shopping for stocking stuffers.
Instantly I was transported back in time, to when I was six.
Daddy was a teacher, and back in those days, all the students would give their teacher a present.
Daddy came home that last day before vacation with arms loaded with presents, all of them opened! And my eyes filled with delight and wonder at all the generosity of his class. He would show us each gift, and share with us a little something about who gave it. He knew what families were not as well off as the others, and he would explain the great sacrifice it took for them to give him their gift.
He got cologne, aftershave, trinkets, tools, clothing (once a really nice suede jacket), candies, pens, a globe of the earth, wallets, belts, socks…he was very well-liked and was a favorite of the campus.
You see, our gift was to share our father with all of these children who sometimes did not have the best of fathers, or even ANY father in their home. There is a deep psychological need for a father figure as we grow up.
How do I know? By the ones that stayed in touch over the years. By all the weddings the entire family was invited to, not just him and mom.
And by all the phone calls I made when mom asked when he died, telling all of his former students and colleagues he had passed.
They came to his funeral.
And they cried.
Daddy never wanted me to become a teacher like him.
There was no money. The restrictions and rules got the best of him in the end. It no longer puzzled me why he advised me to not enter his profession. When he retired he suddenly looked ten years younger; it was that hard on him.
But the cherry cordials!
He would let me eat one and let me open the box.
And when no one was looking, I would eat two more!
Cherry is one of my favorite things to eat--any way I can eat it! LOL
Did I buy a box of those cherry cordials? I probably should have. It would be a nice tradition to pass on to my son.
Aloha and Mahalos,
For all of you out there who work hard and bake the holiday cookies, Mahalo. Our mother did not bake. Your gifts on holiday paper plates and beautiful bows on the plastic wrap, brought our family so much JOY! I felt the love as we ate them the morning of Christmas. That's how special they were. Our family was poor. Most of my gifts were from Thrifty's--the stationery set or the bubble bath. It wasn't like my friends who got the cool Schwinn bikes. Those cookies gave me hope that things would get better. And they have, so many years since…
I do not bake although I have all of the tools and an impressive collection of cookie cutters--it's hard to find the time with my work hours. But this memory inspires me to make time for me and my son to make some in memory of your kindness. May it live on in both of our hearts...