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The Simplicity of Love

The other day my husband went to see his grandmother at her nursing home after work. After his visits he will often make a trip to one of neighboring Korean grocery stores. While he was at the store, he picked up some candy for me. Even with selective hearing, a condition many husbands seem to suffer from, he amazingly remembers the smallest details of conversations we've had months, even years ago. My husband brought home a bag of crunchy sesame candy. I know what you're thinking. Big deal! It's not a box of Godiva chocolates or something rare and exotic, but to me those candies, that moment, was priceless. Last year while we were out purchasing a celebratory bottle of wine for a friend who had just gotten married, we passed a display of Jack Daniels whiskey. I mentioned to my husband that JD was my

grandfather's favorite vice. My granddad passed away years ago from pancreatic cancer but seeing the display reminded me of one of my most favorite human beings to have ever lived. My granddad was a shrewd businessman with a loud booming voice, and an intense stare that could terrify any stranger. Little did others know that that underneath all of that tough guy bravado was a humorous, sensitive, loving soul who when he thought no one was looking would sneak a pinch at my grandmother's bottom while she was cooking dinner. He was a man of great faith who would always give alms to the poor in the neighborhood. Some days after work he would call his grandchildren over to a back room in the house so that he could slip us some candy. One of the candies he would give us is the same type my husband brought home ---crunchy sesame candy. To my surprise, my wonderful husband remembered that minor detail in a conversation we had long ago. Sesame crunch candies aren't exactly my all time favorites but just seeing it and tasting it made me feel like a little girl again. I could picture my granddad telling all of the cousins, there were five us at the time, to cup our hands while he filled them up with confections. Before leaving the room he would put his finger to his pursed lips and warn all of the grandchildren not to tell our grandmother because he knew she would take the candy away from us. She knew that we would consume all of the candy in one sitting...and we always did. Inevitably one or more of us wouldn't eat dinner or someone would throw up and then my grandfather would receive his verbal lashings from my grandmother or from one of his own children. He would just laugh, this big boisterous laugh, and feign ignorance or say something like, "I can't help it. I love my grandchildren!" My granddad was such an amazing presence in our lives. His actions, not his words, taught us so much about the meaning of love. While my husband looks nothing like my grandfather, so much of who he is and how he expresses love reminds me of my granddad. Even though I threw my arms around his neck and told my husband how much it meant, I don't think he truly realizes how touched I am by his simple gesture. For some, love may be wrapped in diamonds, fancy meals, or expensive gifts, but for me on this Valentine's Day weekend, love was found in a bag of sesame candy. ~HZM

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