Mint chocolate-chip ice cream.
It’s been so many years.
I had no idea a little taste could take me back in time.
It was a relaxing Shabbat afternoon, soaking up the sunshine on comfy
The sound of laughter from the kids filled the fresh air, and shadows of bouncy balls and sand toys danced along the yard.
I was lost in thought, taking pleasure in the moment in time.
My husband came outside to join me, while offering to bring me a scoop of ice cream in a cone.
I’m never one to decline such a kind and sweet offer, and before I knew it, I’m handed a most delicious treat.
A few moments later, my husband returned with his own ice cream cone in hand, yet unlike my coffee flavor, he chose creamy cool mint ice cream with specks of chocolate chips scattered about.
Being that our ice cream is shipped once a year from Los Angeles—a seven-hour drive away—we seldom indulge in a variety of flavors and opt for the most loved: chocolate, vanilla and coffee.
This year, for the first time, we ordered a small pint of mint chocolate chip. You know . . . to mix things up a bit.
Well, it only took a millisecond for me to smell the fresh scent of mint ice cream to be instantly transported in time to the carefree childhood days of family trips to the beach, followed by a quick stop to pick up ice cream on the way home.
For me, it was always coffee flavor and for my father (of blessed memory), mint chocolate chip. My mother and siblings would choose their favorites, but on this day, it would only be my father’s that I would remember.
Inevitably these precious moments in time would turn to mere memories, which on this day I would relive. And relive, I did.
Chaim Boruch sat snuggled by my side, and the chatter of the kids and laughter took a backstage appearance.
Clearly, I was not present.
My eyes clouded with tears, and I leaned in to inhale memories.
Before my husband could even indulge in his ice cream cone, we switched flavors. I took one little lick. I just had to.
My taste buds took me back and away, far away, to the very being of my father . . . his smile, laughter, love and passions in life.
And there they were. Those hot stingy tears because that little taste of my father was the epitome of heartbreak and hurt, pain and sadness. And longing.
Chaim Boruch snuggled closer, and I only realized then that his little hand was resting on my lap, almost trying to shelter me from emotions that ran so deep.
I looked into his soft sparkly eyes and wondered what indeed he understood from all of what transpired in my heart, which must have taken up not more than three minutes in actual time.
And then I realized, he doesn’t need to understand. No one does.
It’s OK to feel for someone without understanding because when love runs so deep, even the inability to understand can be overpowered by affection.
Again, my child taught me something so incredible.
If you need to cry over spilled milk, or mint chocolate-chip ice cream, then cry.
If you need to inhale the scent of childhood and the longing for someone you love, then breathe in deep.
If you need to go back in time and taste the heartbreak, then taste it.
Feel. Be passionate. Be affectionate.
Love without trying to understand.
Love without trying to remedy.
Love without trying to take the hurt away.
As King Solomon writes, “There is a time for everything under the sun.”
A time to hurt.
A time to heal.
A time to listen to the messages taught by special souls that illuminate the world.