The Reason I Drink Eggnog

By Joseph J. Mazzella • December 11, 2023

Every December I buy a carton of vanilla spice eggnog and for several evening I have a cup, “unspiked”. I don’t do it because I enjoy eggnog that much. I do it to remember a very special friend named Kai.

The first time I saw Kai she was sitting in my front yard petting my dog, Harley. She and her husband Sean had just moved into our neighborhood. She had a joyful smile and a high voice that seemed to sing when she said, “Hello.” In that very first conversation she told me she had a terminal disease. I think she wanted us all to know right off that she didn’t have much time, but in the few years she had left, she touched all of our hearts.

Kai soon blessed everyone around her with her gentle heart and unconquerable spirit. She became an unofficial grandma to the neighborhood children. She saved a dog hurt in a bear attack and nursed him back to health. She advised my daughter during those difficult teenage years. She asked me to read her my new stories and always smiled with joy when I did. She invited us into her home over and over offering us cake, conversation, and kindness. And one December she even got me to try that vanilla spice eggnog. She taught all of us so much about life, death, faith, courage, love and God. And I still miss her every single day.

In our last conversation Kai said she regretted that she was going to die in the middle of Winter. Well, sometimes God gives me the right thing to say and I told her not to worry. When she awoke again, it would be Spring. Maybe that is why I always drink a few cups of eggnog every year when Winter arrives. I want to remember Kai’s loving presence in all of our lives. I want to wish her well in Paradise and thank her for all she taught me while she was on Earth. I want to feel her Spring once again even in the midst of Winter.


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