Sunday, March 31, 2013

On Jellybeans: A Personal Post

I buy (a lot of) jellybeans at Easter. Some people love Cadbury Cream Eggs, others love Peeps and some just chocolate - but my soft spot is for jellybeans. If I'm being honest, it’s more like an obsession because of the lengths I go to get them. I don’t just run to the store and buy what they have in stock. Oh no, I don’t settle for just any kind - they have to be a certain kind, a special kind - and they remind me of a special woman.

Deciding to go to college in Northern New York meant I was 1,100 miles away from my home in Atlanta and that I would never be able to make it home for Easter like many of my friends could. But I had my Nana, who lived just over an hour away, who welcomed me and my sister with open arms and a huge smile each year for the holiday when our schedules allowed.

Nana was a wonderfully cheerful woman who couldn’t hide her excitement about having us there even if she tried. She loved being a host and having visitors, her house always more than ready for us to come through, even if it was for a few hours or days. No matter how long we were stopping in for, there was one thing we always knew for certain would be waiting for us - a bowl of some yummy, colorful candy on a table in the family room. 

At Easter, the bowl was filled with a certain kind of jellybeans, and they were always gone (refilled then gone, refilled then gone) by the time we left. They were the best I ever had and almost every year since then I’ve made sure to find my own bag to enjoy - even though it now requires me to hunt them down online (yes, they're worth it).

This Easter has been particularly hard for me because it’s my first without Nana, who passed away unexpectedly in October. I remember how much she cherished our visits and us spending the time catching her up on all the happenings of our college lives. For this weekend each spring, we were hers to laugh with and share stories well into the night. 

When it came to ordering the jellybeans this year, I hesitated and put it off for a while. They remind me so much of her; I thought they would only make me think of her even more often than I already do, and sometimes the pain of losing her is still too hard to fight through.  

I finally ordered them this week and they arrived on Wednesday, but I waited to open the package until today. Instead of ripping into the bag and eating them by the handful per usual, I found the prettiest glass bowl I could find in our house and I filled it to the top. I brought the bowl into the family room and set it on one of the tables by the couch - just like she would have done for us.

So tonight I settled for reliving the moments those colorful candies helped me recall a bit more clearly and I had to be okay with that. They aren’t as good this year and I know it’s because I’m missing something and someone. All I could do was eat them one by one, thinking of a story, an experience, or just a smile I miss so much. 

Want to share a bowl of my favorite jellybeans with me? You can find them here (and make sure to get the fruit flavored ones)

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