Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Lime Popsicle

Love takes on many forms. I just never thought I would find love and grace in the form of a lime popsicle. Boy was I ever wrong.

When it came to sweets, my Mom loved all things green. Green Skittles, M&M's, jellybeans...but especially lime popsicles. If there were green popsicles in the freezer, we knew that those were reserved for Mom or you'd have some 'splainin to do later!

When Mom was battling cancer and having to endure endless rounds of chemo and radiation, it seemed as though her thirst and need for liquid increased tenfold. We would keep her stocked with her favorite drinks, pitchers of water and, of course, her favorite popsicles. There was only one problem. Because she also suffered from diabetes, she could only have sugar-free popsicles and no one carried a lime flavor that was sugar-free.

Her favorite brand--partly because of price and partly because they were just plain yummy--was the Budget Saver brand popsicle sold at Wal-Mart and most grocery stores. We would keep bags of sugar-free popsicles for Mom to munch on when her excessive thirst would hit. One day, she said, "I wonder why this brand doesn't make the lime in the sugar-free, too? What I wouldn't give to have a lime popsicle!"

That's when my wheels started turning.

You must know that the last few years of my Mom's life were anything but easy. Saddled with a bevy of issues from Fibromyalgia to the worst foe -- cancer -- she did everything she could to maintain a positive outlook and a "let's beat this thing" attitude. But, toward the end, she became tired and weary and needed to be carried emotionally instead of being the strong one for all of us. She deserved a lime popsicle that she could eat, I decided. So, I was intent on making that happen.

So I sat down and wrote a letter to the Ziegenfelder Company (manufacturer of the Budget Saver brand) which is located in West Virginia. I told them all about my Mom, how much she loved their product and how much she wanted a sugar-free lime popsicle. Knowing that they would not change their product line because of one little letter, I did it in part to try and help my Mom since I couldn't take her illness away.

A few weeks later, I was at my parents' home in Selma, Alabama helping my dad take care of Mom during her treatments. By this time, she was not able to fully do for herself and an extra set of hands was necessary. One afternoon, I heard the doorbell ring and I walked to the door to see who it was. It was not a visitor, but instead, a huge brown box that sat waiting on the front porch.

As I opened the door, I noticed a large label that read "DRY ICE" on the front of the box. Dry ice? What in the world? Then I read the shipper's name: The Ziegenfelder Company.

What? This can't be possible. A corporation has actually responded to the letter of a lowly customer in Alabama?

Yes, yes they did.

I pushed the box (the size of a large television, mind you) into the room where my Mom was sitting. I opened the letter inside and began to read how this company had been touched by my Mom's story and, although they could not add another flavor to their sugar-free line due to production constraints, they wanted to do something special for her. It went on to say that they had made the decision to suspend their normal production schedule for an entire day and produce only SUGAR-FREE LIME POPSICLES for my Mom.

That's right. The entire big box delivered to her was full of bags containing specially-made, not available anywhere else, only for my Mom, sugar-free lime popsicles. Tears filled our eyes and I started jumping up and down with glee.

Little did this company know what they had done. I'm sure they knew they were doing a good thing by granting our request...if only temporarily. But as I watched the smile climb across Mom's face as we unloaded bags and bags of her dream popsicle into the freezer, I silently thanked them. I thanked them in my heart (and with a phone call, of course) for listening and for caring and, most of all, for making this special woman's dreams come true.

Love does present itself in many forms. But on this day, love came in the form of a lime popsicle. A popsicle that brought a look of joy to my Mom's face that hadn't been there in a very long time.

That is a day I will never forget.

70 comments:

Megan (FriedOkra) said...

You need to send this post to Guideposts. They'd publish it and millions of people would get to hear this wonderful, sweet, faith-in-humankind restoring story.

I'm serious!

Stacey said...

I second that, Megan!!!

Nicki said...

I am all choked up and tears in my eyes. I can't believe a company would do that. You never hear about the great stories. That was so touching. Thank you so much for the uplifting story.

MelDrop's Corner said...

WOW!! want an incredible story. i can't believe you haven't told me about it before...you're holding out on me sista! brought tears to my eyes, and then i told jimmy about it, and i started crying again.

Jen G said...

Wow! What an awesome story!!

Cindy said...

Oh, Katie! UNBELIEVABLE. What an incredible story. Yes, yes, yes, submit it for publication! I will NEVER eat another lime popsicle without thinking of what you did for your mom, what that company did for your mom. And I'll tell my girls and all their friends who come eat popsicles at my house. Can I link to this??

Myrtle's Mayhem said...

What a wonderful story. It is nice to know that there are still caring and thoughtful people and companies out there!

Rebecca said...

What a great story! Thanks for sharing it!

Anonymous said...

That's such an awesome story! I'm glad to hear there are actually companies that care about their customers! So nice!

Shannon P.

Angela said...

That is wonderful. It is awesome to hear about companies that get a letter and do something amazing. This is basically what the make a wish foundation does but it was done with a single letter and without a big foundation's backing/encouragement. I'm so glad your mom was blessed to have this treat.

Jen said...

Wow...that is an incredible company and story! You should definitely send it in somewhere.

Jeanette said...

What a wonderful story.
It is so very hard to watch someone you love go through the struggles of dealing with cancer. It is a horrible disease and hard for the entire family to deal with. My mother and father both died from it.
That must have been so wonderful for your Mom to have received the popsicles. Knowing that you had a hand in was surely a blessing to her, also.

AnnMarie said...

thanks for sharing that...great story and what a great memory :)

Julie Kent said...

This story just makes you stop and take a deep breath -- one that restores your faith in mankind. You read in the bible how God caused kings and nations to soften their hearts and grant favor and support in a way that fulfilled His purposes, bestowing goodness on His chosen and highly favored. What a cool way to be used -- for both you and Ziegenfelder -- to accomplish God's purpose for bringing joy to your mother.

I will certainly never be able to just eat any old popsicle without thinking about how good God is. (And between you and me -- I can't think of sushi as just being any ordinary thing as well!)

You're beautiful, Katie!

i should be folding laundry said...

I read this yesterday and cried so hard while reading it and it affected me all day. What a great story, you write it so well.

i should be folding laundry said...

I read this yesterday and cried so hard while reading it and it affected me all day. What a great story, you write it so well.

The Queen Mommy said...

This made me CRY! It IS the little things we do for people (a letter to a corporation) that matter. How fantastic for a COMPANY to forego the potential profits for an entire day to make this special gift for your mom. That is kindness and goodness and LOVE all wrapped up in a lime popsicle (my favorite flavor, too!)

Michelle said...

I found your blog through 'I should be folding laundry', and just wanted to say that I think this is the sweetest thing I have read in a long time!

Scribbit said...

Oh this was just wonderful! I don't that I've been that touched in a long time. Inspirational and beautiful and sweet. . . thanks so much for writing and submitting this!

Summer said...

Oh, so touching. Thanks for sharing this.

Lei said...

Such a beautiful and hopeful story. Thank you for sharing it through Scribbit's contest! THis is an award well deserved!

dcrmom said...

Wow. That is an AMAZING story.

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

Absolutely gorgeous. Congrats on a much-deserved win!

Heather.PNR said...

Lovely, just lovely.

Linda said...

I clicked on the company and told them how I read about their kind deed and promised to buy their product and suggested that they recognize whoever made the decision to do that. This is a wonderful post, and you deserved to win!

Babystepper said...

Absolutely amazing!

What a wonderful thing for a big, bad corporation to do.

It's nice to know that love isn't gone from our culture after all.

Megan (FriedOkra) said...

Congratulations! :) Now send it to Guideposts. Or somewhere. Please?

Jen Rouse said...

Indeed, submit this for publication. Or, if not that, send an e-mail explaining what this company did to the local newspaper that covers the town where the popsicle company is based. People REALLY need to know that there are still companies out there that care about customers and would do this kind of thing. Speaking as a former newspaper reporter, I'd say that this is the kind of thing that a features editor at a local newspaper would eat up, and a company like this deserves the good publicity.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

What a great story. Like others have said, definite kudos to the company for having this sort of compassion and for taking time to care.

And thank YOU for sharing this with us. I'm sure it wasn't easy to write.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Oh, I can't stop the tears!

Steph

Robin said...

This made me cry.

What a touching story, and beautifully told.

Karen said...

Congratulations on winning Scribbit's Write away contest - otherwise I might have never read this. Poignantly touching - it needs to be PUBLISHED somewhere. It's too good to just stay hidden in the annals of your blog. :)

Heather said...

That story is amazing. A well-deserved win at the Write-Away contest. What a great company. I'll remember this story next time I'm shopping for popsicles.

gretchen from lifenut said...

Awesome! What a great story. My hat's off to the popsicle company for doing an amazing thing and to you for contacting them.

Jenna Consolo said...

Congratulations on a well-deserved win! What a fantastic, faith-affirming story. Sounds like your mom deserved such extraordinary kindness.

jeanie said...

Congratulations - came here by the way of Scribbitt - I cried, but they are the tears of amazement that a company would do that and it really does give you faith in humanity.

BTW - I know what she likes about the greens - one of the best birthday presents I ever got was a jar of green jellybeans!

Corrie said...

What a wonderful, touching story. Love is a lime green popsicle!

ewe are here said...

Via Scribbit...

What a wonderful story! I'm so glad you shared it.

Melissa Markham said...

Via Scribbit. This is an absolutely beautiful story! Thank you for blessing us by sharing it with us. And what a wonderful gift the company bestowed upon your mother.

Amy said...

That story was absolutely beautiful. It really warmed my heart!

SabineM said...

Via Scribbit as well. I was the judge for this month. Though it was hard because everyone wrote such beautiful posts, yours I could NOT stop thinking about! What a gorgeous post that showed the love for your mom and the love for humanity (that the company showed)
I didn't KNOW who was the author. I just had a number next to the post....
I was SOO touched by your story!
I was wondering if I could post it on my blog with a link to yours. I think the world (not that the world reads my blog), but the world needs to know that there are still such fabulous and caring companies out there! Let me know....
THANK YOU

Lori said...

Congratulations on winning the Scribbit "Write Away" contest! This post so deserves the honor.

Another teary blogger,
Lori

Pieces of Me said...

What a beautiful story... still crying. I wish somebody did something like that for my mom too.she has alzheimers

Amy said...

Congrats! and how awesome that this company would do this for your mom...that is so special..and I am so going out and buying some budget saver popsicles to support them..:-)

thediaperdiaries said...

I am also here through Scribbit. Congrats on the win, it was beyond well deserved. I must echo the sentiments of many of the readers, this is a story that needs to be heard by the masses and a company that deserves recognition. Thanks for sharing.

Sea Star said...

I have tears and a smile. What a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing it.

Yes, my name is Arizona said...

You often hear about the awful things companies do...how wonderful that this one did something thoughtful and caring. Kudos to them and what a wonderful treat for your Mom. Great story. It made my day! And for some reason I have a taste for a lime popsicle....

Jacki said...

Okay, I am going to start buying this brand of popsicle! These are the kinds of companies we need to support!

And thank you for sharing this wonderful story!

Erica Douglas said...

via scribbit...

wonderful story, a worthy winner!

Mommy Cracked said...

That is such an incredible story!!

Bahama Mama said...

That Company is the kind of company I aspire to own someday. It was a amazing thing they did for your Mom but also amazing morale booster for everyone who worked there.

elaine@bloginmyeye said...

Congrats on your Write Away win. Great post...one might even say "perfect"!

paisley said...

this was so heartwarming... just lovely... i am off to see if i can thank the company as well... this is such a joy to read....

Heather said...

This is such a beautiful story! I found you through Scribbit - congrats on winning. I just LOVE this story - it's so nice to hear about people (an entire company nonetheless) who are willing to use their resources to encourage a complete stranger. :)

Jenn said...

Congratulations!

My Ice Cream Diary said...

This made me cry, not only because it is heart warming to hear of a big corporation doing somehitng so wonderful, but because it reminded me of the day that an old friend of my fathers was able to make him smile during the very hard part of his cancer. After dedicating his life to scouts my father always dreamed of having a certain red wool jacket that most older scouts get, but it was always too expensive. His friend gave it to him during an honor ceremony and my dad genuinely smiled for the first time in months. It was lovely, just like your lime popcicles are lovely.

Char said...

What a wonderful story. It really restores my belief that sometimes companies do listen to their consumers. Your story has touched me, and even made me cry - Thanks!

Someone Being Me said...

Wow, what an incredible story. Just when I start to think customer service is a dying art a company comes along and surprises me.

Makita said...

BEAUTIFUL!!

:D

Melody said...

Wow - This makes me want to buy all of their products forever! (I'm sure they didn't know that you would be bloggin it when they did it, which kinda makes it even nicer) I'm getting all chocked up, and hoping no one walks into my office just yet!!

mumple said...

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who cried.

Anonymous said...

I found this story from another board, and I want to thank you for sharing this story. I cried all the way through it. I lost my mother to cancer several years ago, she was diabetic too. She craved sugar-free neopolitan ice cream! Again, thank you so much for sharing, you made my day.

Paige said...

Such a beautiful story. And it's so nice to know that a big company would do such a nice thing for just one person. Thank you for sharing.

Jolanthe said...

That is amazing...and makes me want to support a company that would do something so wonderful for your mom and your family.

Thanks so much for sharing this.

Jolanthe

Corey said...

I'm here through the Perfect Post Awards. This is such a fantastic story. Thanks so much for sharing.

cally said...

i love this. i have posted a link to this, but if that's not okay, i will quickly take it off. thanks for sharing something so sugar-free sweet.

Alice Wills Gold said...

I came from Cally's blog...I am utterly speechless.

I know where I will be buying my popsicles from now on.

There is still so much goodness in this world. Thanks for sharing.

Mother 25 - 8 said...

This was forwarded to me from a friend. She got choked up on it cuz she "was pregnant" but I'm not pregnant and I got all emotional. Such a good story. Why wasn't this on any headlines? Needed to be!!

Mia said...

This is such a beautiful story. My mother died from cancer 7 years ago. I appreciated all the small kind things people did for her during those years. What a special story. I really do think you should send it to guideposts!

Wild Squirrel said...

Just found your post through Scribbit's contest pages. It truly is the small and simple things, isn't it? Thanks for sharing.