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.