We don’t have many keepsakes in my family. I’ve never really been handed down anything. Well my stepmother, Joanne, did give me her pearls which I love and if I ever have a daughter I’ll probably give her the diamond necklace my father gave me on my thirtieth birthday but as far as mementos go, the Rheels aren’t exactly the most sentimental people.
Save for this one thing.
Our chocolate Easter bunny.
Nineteen years ago it was given to either me or my brother as an Easter present. How it was able to survive even the first couple of weeks in a house full of people with food addictions is beyond me but there it was, sitting atop the fridge, a whole year later.
I remember seeing it the following April and asking who’s chocolate bunny it was and my brother saying “Dude, I think that’s from last Easter.” at which point I felt like I couldn’t eat it. By then it was kind of a thing, like hey that’s that chocolate Easter bunny from last year, isn’t that funny?
As time went by, friends became familiar with it. “I can’t believe you still have that!” they would say if they hadn’t been to the house in a while. At one point my friend Matt said that if we held onto it for five years he would eat it. Five years came and went.
I graduated high school. Then college. There it was perched on top of the freezer with its beady eyes and paling skin.
My parents moved like four times. I smile when I think of my stepmother having to pack up the kitchen with each pilgrimage and my father saying “Don’t forget our decrepit old chocolate Easter bunny. That thing has been in the family longer than you have!”
Our Easter bunny has outlasted three dogs, and numerous boyfriends and girlfriends. It’s lived through holidays, snack attacks, bouts of the munchies and drunken binges. All that my family has been through for nearly twenty years, our Easter bunny has endured.
Last weekend my parents came to visit. Joanne had an early Easter basket for me and tucked beneath the candy and cards and a brand spanking new kimono (!) was our family’s legacy; our beloved chocolate Easter bunny. I felt myself welling up with pride as took it in my hands.
“Why me?” I asked her with tears in my eyes.
“Because I don’t want it in the kitchen anymore.” she responded.
I couldn’t be more proud.
It almost makes me want to have kids, just so I can disappoint them with their inheritance.