Ancient History

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Cocoa Puffs

The Denver Post used to have a feature in the Sunday Lifestyles section of the newspaper where readers could submit essays for publication. On Halloween 1999, I opened my paper and discovered an essay I had written and submitted, entitled “Cereal Manifesto”.

It was about how I was going to let my two-year-old daughter (now ten) eat sugary cereals occasionally. It was frowned upon in my social circle and I was tired of being judged for liking The Captain and His Magical Berries imbued with Crunch.

My late-Grandma Alice was very proud it was published. She was always my biggest writing cheerleader/butt kicker and often found clever ways to keep me going.

That Christmas, she presented me with a box of Cocoa Puffs, which she purchased for herself. After one bowl of the brown bombs, she decided she’d had enough. She had gone nearly 84 years without consuming kiddie cereal until my essay came along, so she was passing on the remainder of the box to me.

I took it home and put it in the cupboard for a rainy day.

Early in January, we had a downpour. My husband came home from work on his first day back after the holidays with the shocking news he lost his job. The job was a source of extreme stress and aggravation so an emotional burden had been lifted, but we were scared. I was pregnant with Sam. We had two little ones. What would we do?

The next morning, I recalled the Cocoa Puffs in the cupboard. Let’s eat those for fun!

My husband opened the box. Tucked on top of the wax paper bag was a handwritten note from my grandmother.

“Don’t worry about the future. I have everything under control. Love, God.”

The ballpoint-blue unwavering script on torn notebook paper was a miracle of timing. The note was taped on our computer monitor during what turned out to be two jobless months.

I know what God’s handwriting looks like.

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