Chocolate & Grandparents

When I was a little kid, under the age of 10 years old, in the summer months, my parents would fly me and my sister to their hometowns of Birmingham and Wolverhampton, England, to visit relatives. My favourite place to go was the home of my grandmother (“Nan”) and grandfather (“Gramps”) on my father’s side of the family.

The primary reason: in her very small war-time refrigerator, my Nan always had a steady supply of mini chocolate bars which she kept in the “vegetable drawer.” Specifically, mini Mars bars (you know, the 19.7 gram “fun size” bars). They were tiny. Delicious. And, plentiful. A vegetable drawer filled to the brim with bars – at least 25 of them!

I can still remember running up their walkway, giving them a bird-bath-shallow hug, then blasting past them into their kitchen to pull open the fridge door and see “the chamber of gold.” Limitless chocolate decadence. This six-year old’s dream. In my mind, Mars was truly another planet!

That was my first early feeling of being rich; rich in chocolate, and in the love of my grandparents.

Many years hence, I am more appreciative of the saying, “health is wealth.” Today, health is my “new chocolate” and it is holds a high priority for most people I know. And, all it takes is an unwell grandparent to remind us of this.

I was reminded of the history of my chocolate penchant when I recently bumped into a colleague at a discount store where I was buying about 100 chocolate bars. Alongside my commitment to health, for the past 20 years, I have had a fridge full of chocolate bars of all types. Including Mars bars, of course.

My three kids have grown up with a vegetable drawer full of chocolate bars, always stocked with more than 100 at any given time. And, no matter what has transpired in our lives, including the death of great-grandparents, grandparents and parents, chocolate bars have always been a constant in our lives.

To me, chocolate is more than comfort food. It’s history. Family history.

I hope my kids have a fridge full of chocolate in their lives.

family history