My mother always kept mints in her purse. She knew I'd look.
And I did. In church, the grocery store, on errands in the car, and stealth-like in her closet with the light turned off. I'd rummage through her bags every chance I got to find those spicy bits of peppermint or tiny speckled circles of spearmint.
If I looked long enough, dug deep enough, and was silent enough while I did it, I'd find the mints, glinting in shiny gold foil like a mermaid's treasure.
My mother kept them in all her handbags, ready to soothe when I was sick, calm when I was antsy, reward when I was behaved, and inspire when I was discouraged.
Although she passed away recently, she still guides me in how I parent, how I live, and how I love. Because if I stop to listen and am quiet enough, I can hear her voice, offering encouragement, enlightenment, enjoyment, commitment ... more "mints" than the entire candy aisle at Woolworth's. Click the links below for more about my mother.