By: Joseph J. Mazzella
I was sitting at my kitchen table the other day with a pen, notebook, calculator, and a stack of bills. I was doing my monthly budget. There were bills for electric, water, rent, insurance, the car payment, the phone bill, and the cable bill. Plus money needed to be set aside for food, gas, clothes, and hopefully a little left over to save for those unexpected bills that always seemed to show up. When I was done I shook my head, closed my eyes, and thought of a time long ago when I would regularly get treasures.
When I was a boy we lived across the road from Camp Caesar. It held week long camps all through the summer and my Grandma who I lovingly called, “Nanny” worked in its big kitchen.
I remember sneaking in there getting a smile, a hug, a kiss, and a hot roll from Nanny. Then she would always dig deep in her pockets and pull out a treasure, a shiny quarter. She would give it to me and I would run down the hill to either get an ice cold can of coke from the pop machine or I would head to the camp’s swimming pool where I could buy a warm cup of cherry coke for 15 cents and a tiny 10 cent bag of chips from the concession stand. I took my time because it was always a big decision. It was nice too feeling so rich for a few minutes.
Looking back now I can see that the real treasure wasn’t the quarter at all. It was the love with which Nanny gave it to me. I would have still visited her at work every day if I had never gotten a single quarter. It was her smile, hugs, and kisses that were priceless in my heart then and now.
The old saying is true, “With your work you can make a living, but it is with your love that you make a life.” May you always welcome God’s love into your heart, soul, and mind. And may you always share your love with others. It is the one treasure that lasts forever.