I think I’ve told this story on here before but even though it’s just a little brown bottle, it holds lots of memories for me.
Over 30 years ago, I had a friend named Carl. He wasn’t a romantic type friend – just a friend. He was actually friend with the attorney I was working for at the time, and he and I became friends. He had worked hard the years I knew him. He was divorced, had grown children and was diagnosed with some kind of cancer and the prognosis was not good. He decided to sell everything he owned, buy a big boat and sail to Mexico, live on the beaches there for a while and enjoy life.
He did and from time to time, he’d come back to Lake Charles. On one trip, he brought back Mexican vanilla. He went by the pharmacy and got several glass bottles from a pharmacist friend, filled them all with vanilla and gave them to his friends.
I know it’s really just a bottle . . but it’s a bottle from my friend, Carl. I have refilled this bottle quite a few times. I never use it that I don’t think of Carl. I’m sure when he gave it to me, he never thought that 30+ years later, he’d be in my thoughts so often.
For several months, I couldn’t find this bottle. A 30+ year old bottle and I was really concerned that I had lost it but . . how would I lose it? Then I found it in my car and remembered I had taken it to the apartment with me, and brought it back to Texas but forgot about it so . . it’s found.
Tuesday when I was making the tapioca pudding, I used this bottle of vanilla and, as always, I thought of Carl. As I think of him, I’m also reminded that the things we do for people, whether the nice things or the not so nice things, some will remember the actions and the person for a very, very long time. I hope there will be something I’ve done for people that will cause some to have good memories of me when I’m gone.
By the way, Carl passed away less than a year after he gave me the bottle. He had just turned 46. A good guy gone way too soon but I am very thankful for the memories (and the vanilla)!