Special to the Mirror by Michael C. Jordan
Many years ago, while attending college, I visited the Instructional Assistance Center where a young lady named Sheila worked. I asked her what gift she had gotten for Valentine’s Day. She replied, a bit sadly, that she hadn’t gotten anything. I told her that someone she knew must be in “DEEP KIMCHEE” (a hot pickled Korean dish made of cabbage). She said there was no one, at this point in her life, who could be in that particular situation. I gave her a weak, slightly embarrassed smile and walked away.
Moments later, while unpacking my lunch, I found a large heart shaped cookie decorated with read icing. Returning to Sheila’s desk, I offered it to her. Her smile revealed an inner delight, as she accepted it.
The cookie had been given to me by my (then) wife, Cindy, as a Valentine’s Day treat. Finding it in the middle of my busy school day gave me an unexpected “warm fuzzy”, and it reminded me of the mutual affection we had nurtured over the years. That bit of heart shaped dough, cooked and painted read with frosting had transcended its ingredients. It had become a symbol of human affinity. I could have eaten the cookie; consumed it along with the special meaning it possessed. But I believed it to be more valuable as a gift, than as a part of my lunch.
Holidays, for some of us, are times to share our joys. But for others, they are painful reminders of being alone…