This may, or may not surprise you, but I don't like candy very much. I don't include 'chocolate' in the category of 'candy,' of course, it being the only edible that I would petition to be included on Maslow's hierarchy of needs. So that is where we begin, I'm not your neighbourhood candy man.
A couple of weeks ago I was at a small event where there were people with intellectual disabilities in attendance along with a smattering of staff around the edges of the gathering. I was getting set up to do a presentation and a couple of support workers were talking with me. A fellow with a disability stood off to the side, waiting for a break in the conversation, I nodded to him, letting him know that I'd see him and I'd speak with him next.
When the women I was speaking to were finishing up, he move forward, carefully. He moved as if he'd learned, long ago, to be constantly wary. He moved as if he knew that there was the possibility of hurt at any moment, at any time, from any one. He moved, then, with courage. His hand slowly reached in his pocket and he pulled out some candies. He carefully counted out three. He handed one to me, never has a hand approached me with such gentleness, such caution. I took the candy, thanked him very much for his generosity. He brightened, smiled.
He turned to the woman standing beside him and she saw the candy coming towards her, offered by a gentle hand and a generous heart. "What! You trying to make me fat?" she laughed. His face registered pain, and me, my fat self had to restrain itself from responding. The other woman, before even being offered the third mint, said, "I don't eat candy." Then. They left.
He stood there.
I saw his hand.
With two candies in it.
I said to him, "If those are still on offer, I know two little girls who would love that candy." He looked at me, "What are their names?" I said, "Ruby and Sadie," and as I spoke their names, he started to cry.