Starlight Mints (#atozchallenge)

See what I did there? Today’s “word” is actually a phrase starting and ending with the letter “S.” I could have used a single word that started and ended with “S,” but it wasn’t the story I wanted to tell.

Starlight mints (source:

When I see starlight mints, or suck on them, I think of Grandma Holton. She loved them, and had some in her purse whenever she went out. When I’d be with her, she’d ask “Would you like a mint, dear?” I never said no, because I loved starlight mints and I loved Grandma.

I remember riding back from the cemetery after we said goodbye to Dad for the last time. This was right after Chicago had its “Big Snow” in 1967, and we had waited for a week before we could have Dad’s funeral. (Funny thing: Dad was buried at All Saints Cemetery outside of Chicago, and when we got outside the city, the roads were all clear.) We were in the limousine, Mom, Grandma and her sister Florence, my brothers and I. (It was a big limo.) About halfway home, Grandma opens her purse and pulls out a couple of starlight mints. She held one up with a silly smile on her face. I thanked her, took the mint, unwrapped it, and sucked on it until we got home. Somehow, I knew everything would be all right, because even though we had lost Dad, we still had his mother, and losing him didn’t change that.

I keep a plastic container in my office with starlight mints in it. The peppermint ones, of course; there are other flavors, but the peppermint ones are the ones Grandma liked. My mouth gets dry (side effect of the blood pressure meds I take) and it’s nice to have them. And whenever I have one, I say a prayer for Grandma.

21 thoughts on “Starlight Mints (#atozchallenge)

  1. Thanks for the memory ! We always called her Grandma Kate. I have many fond memories of her. She was one strong lady. Our Moms were cut of the same cloth.


  2. This is a great story and what a loving memory. Your grandmother was one strong lady. She lost her son but still managed to smile and give you a mint.


    1. By that time, all the tears had been cried and Dad was in the ground, and I think we were all ready to get on with life. But yes, she was a strong woman.


  3. Lovely story.
    Starlight mints remind me of my next door neighbors from childhood. They were a sort of a third set of grandparents for my brother and me. We shoveled their snow, and they paid us in starlight mints or a brown bag full of pennies. Also in Chicago.


  4. That’s a touching story. I have few memories of my grandparents and always envied the kids who had those people who spoiled them and loved them.


    1. My maternal grandfather and paternal grandmother lived a long time. Grandma Holton died at 92, and Hicks, my grandfather, lived to 96. It was almost a shock when they died; I think there was part of me that thought they’d live forever…


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