Life and Death at the Farmers Market


Each day that my son and I take a teaspoon of honey we remember Myrna Sweet.

For as long as I’ve been going to the Waupun Farmer’s Market, Clifford and Myrna Sweet have been selling their honey there. It’s a relatively small market that just started a few years ago, but it really boomed last year. I like buying honey from the Sweets. How can you not with a name like Sweet right on the jar?

Last summer, coming to the market I noticed that Myrna wasn’t there with Clifford. This wasn’t unusual as she hadn’t come to the market every week in the past, but as the weeks turned to months I got more apprehensive about asking about her. I knew the answer, of course. Clifford had changed the label to a picture of Myrna and had named the honey for her. Honey, “As gentle and sweet as its namesake.” But it wasn’t just that. Clifford was clearly changed. Kind and as enthusiastic about honey as ever, but he was clearly living on a cache of joy, saved away in a special place in his heart.

I finally asked after her and my concerns were confirmed. Clifford told me what nice things people had to say at the service for her. We talked about the honey and how it was the perfect way to honor her memory.

You see, I didn’t know her very well. We talked on a couple of occasions, we exchanged smiles. But I can tell you this: she was a sweet woman. And her life made Clifford’s sweet. And now she makes my life sweet. Whenever we taste their honey, we remember Myrna and believe she was as sweet as honey.

I have a stockpile of Myrna’s honey in my cupboard. I don’t want to run out. The grocery store doesn’t sell honey that sweetens the heart.

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