December 10, 2017

Mom's Old-Fashioned Chocolate Fudge

I can still remember my mom making homemade chocolate fudge each year at Christmas. Her fudge was a family favorite as far back into my childhood as memories go. It was the old-fashioned kind with just cocoa, sugar, milk, butter, salt and vanilla. 

My most vivid memory is how much my dad loved it and couldn’t wait for it to harden enough to have the first piece. I don’t have that many good memories of my dad, but this is one of them and it has a special place in my heart.
For some reason my dad, a man plagued with anger issues, seemed to enjoy Christmas and was on better behavior than usual for the holidays. I don’t remember him ever ruining Christmas with one of his angry outbursts or fits of rage.

After my mom died at the age of 71 in 2001, and I was still struggling to have a relationship with my dad, I would make mom’s fudge and send him some every Christmas. He loved it and eagerly looked forward to it. It wasn’t just a food gift at Christmas—it was a bridge to demonstrate love to a father who had never had a genuine loving relationship with me. He died in 2011 and I can honestly say I miss sending him his favorite chocolate fudge.

It may seem like an insignificant gift or a small gesture, but in light of the history and relationship we had and his severe treatment of me especially through my teen years, this fudge that I made and sent to my dad in the mail for ten years was a gift of love for a father who was difficult to love.

Up until the year my dad died, I was still trying to build a relationship with him. It was baby steps but each step counted. One of those significant steps was making him mom’s old-fashioned chocolate fudge every Christmas.

Ephesians 5:1-2 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.