Issue Date: March 24, 2006
By JONI WOELFEL
Its funny how something small like a bite into a Nut Goodie candy bar can instantly take one back to another time and place. It was the early 1960s, and I was in the sixth grade. I remember it like it was yesterday. My mom, dad, younger sister, baby sister and I were traveling to Wisconsin from our farm in Minnesota to visit relatives. This was one of the few trips we ever took and it was amazing to me to be on the road -- going somewhere like real travelers. I even got out of school for a few days, which was profound to me. Life could not get any better!
Our visit raced by, we had a wonderful time and as we motored sleepily back home through the middle of the night, I felt such a sense of closeness with my family. It was raining and as we passed through small towns, the lights spangled blurrily through the windshield. We pulled into an all-night café and my dad said he was going in to get us each a candy bar. When he came out, grinning from ear to ear, he said enthusiastically, Try these new Nut Goodies. We unwrapped the red and white paper and exclaimed over the delicious chocolate. But what I remember most is my dads delight in the simple pleasure.
Dad was a gentle, quiet man of few words, a farmer and musician. He was known for his kindness, friendly ways and humble approach to life. He died in 1976 and all my life, whenever I eat a Nut Goodie, I remember his dear face and the intimacy of that first shared candy bar, but it is more than a memory. I feel the timeless bond of love and devotion.
Because of this, on a much deeper level, it is quite easy for me to imagine how Jesus must have felt when he said to his beloved disciples at the Last Supper, Do this in memory of me.
Joni Woelfel is the author of four books, including The Edge of Greatness, Resurrection Press.
National Catholic Reporter, March 24, 2006
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