Wednesday, December 09, 2009

the cure to whatever is ailing you

Two days before I completed my 3-Day walk, my cousin Margaret sent me a care package. Within that care package was a beautiful card where she wrote she was with me in spirit and she had enclosed some "Doves" that she wanted me to take on the walk.


Knowing my family's propensity for chocolate, I assumed that the "Doves" she had packed were of the cocoa variety. Alas, they were of the spiritual variety. As in, they were actual plastic doves (aka: white birds) that were intended to symbolize several of the friends and family we have lost to cancer. I was really moved by my cousin's gesture. And while I soon came to realize that I couldn't wear all of the doves on my walk, I did hang them from my tent and I wore one dangling from my hat, every step of those 60 miles. Which worked out to around three quarters of a million steps.

Give or take a hundred thousand.

But I must admit that once I saw my cousin's note, something in my brain clicked and for the life of me, I could not get my mind off the other variety of Dove. You know, the kind that is made with sugar, in a factory, and packaged in pretty boxes (aka: the blessed candy).

So I went out and bought a box. And even though I've had this assorted box of chocolate (OK, it's actually my second box because I inhaled the first box in less than two weeks OK OK two days, come on whose counting? Cripes! This place is like confession - I always feel like I have to tell the truth) it wasn't until last night that I happened to notice that written on each wrapper was a small message.

Last night when I sat down with a little square of chocolate and a glass of wine, I gently opened the wrapper and that's when I observed there was a little tiny message written on the inside of the foil, just for my eyes. My fortune read, "Don't take it personal."

What? Who wrote that?!

Looking around the room and up at the ceiling I asked, "God, is this from you? Are you trying to tell me something?"

Curious if perhaps all of the wrappers said the same thing or if there was a different message inside each one, I opened another square.

It read, "When you embrace the positive, you shine!"

My interest was totally piqued so I opened another one and it read, "Be forever the optimist and dream BIG!"

Almost immediately I was feeling better. But was I feeling better because I was eating some of the best chocolate known to man and sipping a Cabernet, or was it because of these motivational little pep talks I was getting with each square? I wasn't entirely sure so I had to investigate this a bit further...


"Always smile. It disguises the wrinkles."

"Accentuate the positive!"

"Here's to something more powerful than chocolate. Hope."

(That's when I stopped to pour myself another glass of wine and said Amen! out loud.)

"All things work together in the tapestry of life."

"The heart always remembers."

"Believe the best in yourself."

"Be the silver lining."

"Dream as if you are going to live forever, live as if you are going to die tomorrow."

Not a single square of chocolate held the same message. Each one was uniquely different. Each one made me feel wonderful and warm and inspired. Each one made me feel like so long as I always follow my heart, everything will be a-okazay in life.

As I was wiping away happy tears, Charlie walked in to the room and sizing up the situation gave me a funny look. "Are you crying?" He asked. When I nodded yes, he shrugged, "Why?"

"Because each little piece of chocolate is so good and each one has a special little message inside that is so appropriate for my life! How did Willy Wonka know what I really needed to hear? See, look at this one," I reached in to the box and pulled out another candy. "Take a minute to pause life." I added an extra emphasis on the word pause.

"Isn't that beautiful?"

Charlie smiled and said, "That is beautiful. Now can I tell you something that you really need to hear without you throwing that bottle of wine at me?"

"Of course," I smiled. "What is it?"

"It's time to put down the chocolate and do some sit ups. Jenny, this is not a religious experience - this is smart marketing and you - my love - are a victim."

Fine. I'll give him that. But do you want to know what IS a truly religious experience?

Picking up a totally unsuspecting and illegally adorable toddler who is running through the house and SMOTHERING their neck in kisses while they squeal. My soul feels just as warm as when I eat a half box of Dove squares.

And best yet ...


No calories.


  1. CHOCOLATE!!! I am into our chocolate covered mini-pretzles from TJs! YUM! Minus the red wine, of course...

  2. I AM ROLLING ON THE FLOOR!!!!! Laughing HYSTERICALLY through this post! I'm in tears!! YOU ARE SO FUNNY!

    It's gotta be a genetic thing... I swear! The funniest part was that this was me a few days ago with a Diet Coke! Last weekend Reiner brought home 2 bags of doves! Chocolate w/caramel and milk chocolate. I too noticed the messages on the wrapping. Tears flowing and Diet Coke in hand - I ATE through Each bag to get my special message from God and my Father!!! ;-) Thanks for making my day Jen!!! I so needed that!!!! ;-)

    Love, Marg

  3. I'm not even eating the darn things and I am in tears. Wow...maybe I need more red wine in my life. TEE HEE. You are a great mommy, just wanted to put that out there! How blessed are you to have such an amazing family, kids to snuggle, and a husband who loveingly tells you to back away from the chocolate.

  4. Why are their people's names and city and states on those fortunes? What does it stand for?

  5. I am eating the Dove dark chocolate as I type!!! yummmm I also love the little messages inside.

  6. We do that same neck nuzzle and kissing here. I call it baby love. Now Ethan comes in and asks for baby love. He wants me to kiss and nuzle his neck as he squeals in delight.

    These truly are the moments God gives us to see us through all the others.

  7. So I suppose if I decided to throw a wine/chocolate tasting'd be in?
    p.s. From the 12 dozen cookies from the cookie exchange. My family and I ate 5 dozen cookies in 2 days... yikes!gave 2 dozen away...and the rest no one liked...what can I say we are cookies snobs...I bake too much.

  8. Eileen sent me to Yoga class and I did the downward dog today and I had trouble assuming the human position after. I think this may be good for Charlie's back--those chocolates are addictive. I cannot have them in the house.

  9. I love Dove chocolates just for that reason: the beautiful messages inside.

    I loved this post. :)

  10. AWESOME Post. Love it. I am so going to buy myself a box of dove chocolate tonight :)

  11. Jen, in case you needed any further justifications for Charlie.. chocolate is a vegetable .. it is made from the cocoa bean, therefore it is a vegetable and we need to have at LEAST 4 servings of vegetables a day, it can count as 3 :-)