We do ourselves and others a disservice when we make old age something to be feared…The longer we live, the more life we possess.
- Rabbi Harold Kushner
The summer thunderstorm had knocked out the power—there was just enough candlelight flickering on the kitchen table so that I could see the card I was writing to my husband’s cousins in Finland.
Dear Heli and Risto,
You are on my mind tonight because we are using the pine tar candles you gave us when you visited two years ago. There was a gorgeous summer thunderstorm this evening and the power went out, and your candles were just what we needed. They have lit our dinnertime, the bedrooms and now I am sitting by one in the kitchen…
What I didn’t say to Heli and Risto is that we never burned the candles before because they, well, smell like a campfire. And so they stood in wrought iron candlesticks on the mantle until we needed them.
I’m so thankful that we had candles on hand that dark night. And I’m equally as thankful that I had a beautiful card on hand, too, or I would have let the opportunity to keep in touch with far-away family slip by. It would have turned into another one of those moments when the thought of sending a card crosses my mind but never actually happens.
The pine tar candle burned slow and steady, like you’d guess a hand-dipped, natural candle would. After I finished my card to Finland, I enjoyed looking through the rest of my Someone Cares greeting cards. The air was fresh and cool, I had cards and enough light to write—and watching TV or working on my laptop was out of the question. I found a birthday card for my nephew’s 10th birthday, a thinking of you card for my aunt, and a fun greeting for an old friend and I began writing. Candles and cards—two things that make a thunderstorm into the perfect storm.
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