The colors are bright. They always were. That I do remember.
I take a handful of tiny rainbow nuggets. But I toss just one in my mouth this time.
My tongue slowly moves the melting morsel, pressing it into the roof of my mouth. Only when it’s about to melt to nothing do I bite down, listening to the familiar cracking of its hard shell against my back teeth. I bite down on my right side, as always, and taste the sweetness, feel its melted insides against my cheek.
I haven’t always eaten them this way. But today is different. Today I’m savoring each and every bite. Today I’m thinking about the past and realizing that my sense of taste is overwhelming. Then I realize. Today is really no different. Today is exactly the same. My sense of taste takes me back to my childhood every single time I eat an M&M.
Laugh. But I kid not. Every time.
This time, I close my eyes. I see your wrinkled hands, your long fingers curled over the couch, which you call a davenport. I smell your breath. It matches the smell in the air. Lucky Strikes, I’m thinking. And the cologne. Not sure what it was, but every once in a while I smell you when I’m in a crowd filled with grandfatherly types. I smile and think of you.
The blue glass jar you kept on the coffee table near your spot on the couch/davenport now sits in my dining room. The M&Ms come and go. They don’t last long. But the blue jar isn’t going anywhere. It holds a special place in my heart and memory. It, like so many other things, reminds me of you. Just as every bite of an M&M does.
It seems like forever and a day since I last saw you. Sadly, it was. You’ve been gone now longer than I knew you. A lot longer. You’ve missed so much. We missed so much.
The other day, my middle son, your second great-grandson, was riding his bike, trying to “pop a wheelie.” I laughed and thought of the day I did exactly the same thing by slamming my bike into a manhole cover that stuck up out of your street at least an inch. My front wheel flew completely off my bike. I ran to your house and you drove me back to get the bike, then we fixed the broken wheel. Together.
It has sucked not having you around. You would’ve loved your great-grandsons. You have four. Four great-grandsons to go with your six granddaughters.
They all would’ve loved eating M&Ms with you.