Yes, life is like that box of chocolates; and the tastiest pieces are yet to come

Gary Matheny
Posted 9/9/17

Good movies — I’m talking about movies you remember — have lines that stand out.

I have always liked this line and it has been used many times when I write because it is so good.

“Life …

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 Yes, life is like that box of chocolates; and the tastiest pieces are yet to come


Good movies — I’m talking about movies you remember — have lines that stand out.

I have always liked this line and it has been used many times when I write because it is so good.

“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.”

I can see Forrest Gump sitting on that bench, with an expression on his face that only Tom Hanks can pull off, as he makes that profound statement.

Life truly is that way. There is no consistency.

Each morning we wake up to a new chapter and new people to share it with.

It is up to us to decide if we are going to unwrap the gift before us or put it back on the shelf.

We can learn from the new experience and people we come in contact with or we can simply cruise on by, never stopping to discover the day or the personalities we meet.

How do you see that new day?

Spanky and Our Gang, for all you old-timers like me, wrote a song titled “Lazy Day.” Here is a short chorus:

“Blue sky, sunshine, what a day to take a walk in the park.

“Ice cream, day dream, till the sky becomes a blanket of stars.

“What a day for pickin' daisies, and lots of red balloons.

“And what a day for holdin' hands and bein' with you.”

Most of us, yes even those of you that call yourselves retired, are probably so busy you don't have time to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

However, life has a way of bringing you to a screeching halt, making you realize that more important issues can be at hand.

One of the greatest things in life, next to marrying your favorite sweetie and having children, is grandchildren.

Yes, those little darlings that can wrap you around their finger, getting anything they ask and make your children scream, “You didn’t let me do that.”

I am blessed with six of these little rascals: five girls and one boy, and they each know all they have to do is climb up in my lap, put those little arms around me and ask.

Bada boom, I make it happen. Candy, cokes, root beer floats, Chuckee Cheese or just money. They ask and it happens.

Spoiled yes, but I can always send them home to mom and dad.

Adults are in control. Our job is take care of them, keep them safe, love them through their hurts and pains.

About a year and a half ago, one of my daughter’s children, an identical twin (6 years old) at the time was diagnosed with a golf ball-sized mass in her chest.

This mass was around her heart and around nerves, in a very difficult spot to get to.

Of course, the obvious was immediately imagined. Cancer. Testing and biopsies began, waiting, worrying and facing the unknown.

No one knew or could determine what the mass was.

Data, pictures and any information that could be furnished was sent to children’s hospitals around the country and still no physician could definitely answer the million-dollar question.

Allow me to give you a description of this little trooper. Her name is Cassidy Faith, sister to Addison Faith, her identical twin.

Both have beautiful blue eyes and blonde hair, and their personalities will change when the moon is full. The shyer one will assume her sister’s personality and vice versa.

One afternoon when she was maybe 3, she entered the house and announced that from this point on her name was Gus.

Gus is the mouse in the story Cinderella, and the reason for the name change was she felt it was she that always got caught, just like that mouse.

So, from that point on we have called that petite little girl, “Gus.”

About every six months or so, Gus has to go to Egleston Children's Hospital in Atlanta to have an MRI done to see if the mass has grown.

About four months ago everyone was elated. The mass had shrunk about .5 cm and we all knew that the light at the end of the tunnel was getting brighter and prayers were being answered.

Gus continued to be a normal, now 7-year-old.

About two months ago, she began complaining about her back and shoulder hurting. At first, we all thought maybe she had fallen or pulled a muscle.

Her doctor advised another MRI to be on the safe side. Then the devastating news came. The mass had grown a full centimeter on all three sides. It had to come out.

Surgery was scheduled. Nerves were frazzled. Prayers were lifted by thousands.

Now, Gus has her own Facebook page, GusisHis, on which people are able to track her progress.

Surgery was done. Eleven hours in OR, two days in ICU, five days in a regular room and then home.

The mass was cancer-free and she was again playing like a 7-year-old in just one short week.

Life is like a box of chocolates and you really never know what you’re gonna get, but sometimes you choose the best piece — that chocolate-covered cherry and you savor the goodness of the taste.

Gus is our miracle baby and is now back to being a normal little girl.

What a day for holdin' hands and bein' with you.


(About the writer: Gary Matheny is retired after a long career in the pharmaceutical industry. Because of his love for the East Tennessee mountains, he and his wife left Macon, Ga., to retire in Cleveland. He is a published author, “If The Shoe Fits, Wear It” and “The Bullet.” He also writes a popular blog titled “Life Happens.” He loves golf, writing and public speaking. Email him at and follow him at his website


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