Originally Blogging the Artist's Way. Thoughts, musings, experience of the 12-week course, January to March 2006. And after that?.... Life, creativity, writing. Where does it all meet? Here, perhaps.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

A Chocolate Memory

A chocolate memory has been calling me, in much the same way that a few chocolate sweets hidden away at the back of the fridge will call me at times. The memory has been saying – tell me, tell me, in the same way that the sweets would call out Taste me, taste me.

So, despite my intention to remain silent on the matter of chocolate, it seems I have to give in to the call, and tell you the story of the birthday that changed how I feel about chocolate (and about birthdays) for life:

You picture it. December. A young girl’s 13th birthday. Cusp of womanhood. I got something as my gift from Mam and Dad. I don’t remember what. – The microscope was at 12. No. 13 is a blank, but whatever it was, it was negotiated between me and Mam, chosen, bought, wrapped and presented by her. Yes. And then, at 6 o’clock, Dad arrived home. I was at the door. I raced to open the door, and he had come bearing gifts. He had brought me a box of chocolates.

Of course, everything else paled into oblivion. – Anything else was just another gift. This was a first. This was Sweets for my sweet, this was All because the Lady loves… This was for me from my father. I seized them. I thanked him. I kissed him. I shared them, and yes, I still have the box, I just realised. It became my letter-box, my treasure-box, my under-the-bed place for special things, even after the disappointment, even after he’d told me, even after I’d gone and pursued it.

I asked – wanting to hear “Well, of course I thought of it myself!” and “How could I forget your 13th birthday?” – I asked “Dad, did you just go and buy them, just like that?”… and … Irish men are thick. Blame the fact that he didn’t have a mother or that he’d never read a Mills and Boon – or Freud, for that matter – for his response. He told the truth, the fool, and still I hold it against him and have not forgiven him.

He told me “NO”. He said he didn’t buy them. He said he’d forgotten the day that was in it. They were his first Christmas box, given by a salesman who called into the office. Chance, coincidence. Not mine at all. Nothing special. It could have been a diary or calendar. It could have been a bottle of whiskey, and I’d never have been set up for that fall. I’d never have had that few hours of believing that, in my father’s eyes I was special, in my father’s eyes I’d become a young woman who ought to have chocolates.

More Sunday Scribblings Here. Go have a look!


At 23/4/06 9:50 pm, Blogger Joy Eliz said...

Oh...I want to cry! I want to give you a hug...tell you something...anything to take away the pain..

At 23/4/06 9:58 pm, Blogger paris parfait said...

Such a bittersweet story! Thanks for sharing your joy and your disappointment. Sometimes men just don't have a clue!

At 23/4/06 11:33 pm, Blogger Living Part Deux said...

I'm all choked up, too. Your sweetness against his total oblivion. He didn't do it to hurt you; he just didn't pay attention. I'm so sorry.

At 24/4/06 12:38 am, Blogger Laini said...

Mmm, sad and lovely. What a sweet fragile little moment, a girl and her father, and how thick can a man be to not see that yearning and excitement in your young eyes? It's so fascinating, the things that stand out in our memories, not the gift, but the moment of let-down, but also of course the moment of excitement, the specialness. Lovely story.

At 24/4/06 2:27 am, Blogger Left-handed Trees... said...

I agree...this was a beautiful story. It built-up and I wasn't expecting it to take me there. But, in the end, the let down...parallel for the reader and the writer. Thank you for sharing this.

At 24/4/06 6:19 am, Blogger liz elayne said...

such a tender memory. the images of the girl with hope and love and the father who didn't recognize the moment for what it was and needed to be. i hope you have had some glorious birthdays since.

At 24/4/06 7:48 am, Blogger Kim G. said...

You were right to tell this one. It needed to be told. What a great reminder for me to be authentic and caring to my kids and to notice what matters to them. Thanks for that.

Here's hoping that there are many boxes of chocolates from loved ones in your future!

At 25/4/06 2:55 pm, Blogger Kara said...

I'm just amazed at how you tell a story - this one is so bittersweet. I felt the letdown - the heartache.

I can see why this story called to you to tell it like the sweets hidden at the back of the fridge call to be eaten. It has a feeling of craving. Well done!

At 25/4/06 3:03 pm, Blogger Terri /Tinker said...

Imelda, I want to reach across the ocean and give you a hug. Thank you for sharing your's a universal one - men are a bit thick-headed all over the planet. They'll swagger and tell tall tales all day long till the moment you really NEED them to tell you a tiny white lie - suddenly they're honest as can be, blurting out the truth, no matter how painful it is to you! Still he brought it to you, so at least he was thinking of you that day. Not much consolation, I know.

At 25/4/06 9:02 pm, Blogger HoBess said...

You're right ... I can picture it. I can picture it because this bittersweet story pulled me in with it's fine craftsmanship. Well done! And aren't you glad it can't nag at you anymore?

At 26/4/06 3:33 pm, Blogger kerrdelune said...

A beautiful memory, and it brought back memories of the first box of chocolates received from my father, wrapped up gloriously in pink tissue paper, beribboned and adorned with a pink silk flower - I don't do much pink these days, but how I loved that gift, and I remember the box, pink paper, ribbon, flower and chocolate with delight. Now, many years later, chocolate is still a special experience.

At 26/4/06 7:01 pm, Blogger Fran said...

Yes, oh so bitter sweet, but I sure know the kind of daddy you describe. This certainly forever changes how you look at gifts and chocolate, and yet, your inner dad did and does give you those symbolic chocolates all the time.

As for appearing in a dream, tell me more. Sounds like you are also on the dream path. Taylor's work is fascinating.

At 1/5/06 3:28 pm, Blogger Amber said...

Oh, :( .



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