It’s pretty clear the message conveyed by a dozen red roses. They showed up in abundance last week during Valentine’s Day. But what about a dozen boxes of chocolates? What kind of message would they convey? The answer to that question is revealed in tonight’s News 3 Neighbors story.
Each year for the past twelve years Marquette McKnight has received a box of Whitman’s chocolates for Valentine’s Day. Her collection of Whitman’s sampler boxes is one of Marquette’s most prized possessions. That’s because they were sent by her dad, Bill McRae.
Marquette says, “He was always very affectionate. It was very easy for him to say to us ‘I love you.'”
Bill had five daughters, and Valentine’s Day was the perfect occasion to remind them of how much they’re loved.
Marquette recalls, “He had this tradition from when we were probably in junior high or high school where he started bringing us all candy on Valentine’s Day.”
And when his girls graduated college and landed jobs, Bill delivered the Whitman’s sampler to their work place. Eventually the deliveries would be by mail.
The McRae girls’ hearts were broken in July of 2007 when their precious dad died of cancer. But they were reminded of his enfuring love for them when, the following Valentine’s Day, they each received a Whitman’s sampler!
“It was like…you kinow those signs that people have that someone they love that has died that come back…people see them in all sorts of different things…in pennies and cardinals,” says Marquette. “And this was as familiar as anything we knew of him. We could all hear him in our minds saying ‘I love you gal.’ It was just like being hugged by him.”
And that delicious “hug” from dad has arrived religiously every Valentine’s Day since. Marquette’s box arrived last Tuesday around 3:00 p.m. at her office.
And so the enduring legacy of Bill McRae’s love for his daughters lives on, affirmed once again by the faithful delivery of a box of chocolates.
Marquette explains it this way. “It’s that memory of that love and what you’re doing with it today in sharing that love with others that is his legacy.”