My mom loved wearing necklaces. Several years ago, I realized she’d almost stopped wearing any. She couldn’t work the catches anymore. She had a few long necklaces that she could put on over her head–and double them if she wanted. The rest lay in her dresser drawer, unused.
The week before Mother’s Day that year, I visited the nearest “Charming Charlie” store. They have tons of accessories, the displays grouped by color so it’s easy to narrow down your search.
Mom loved turquoise, blues and greens, so I trekked back to the blue-and-green color families’ corner of the store. In minutes, I’d found the perfect necklace: Blue, aqua, teal, and green beads, all different shapes, with silver accents. It was long enough to wear doubled or even tripled, and not a catch in sight.
Only one thing kept it from being the perfect gift: It came in a set, attached to a coordinating pair of drop earrings. Pierced earrings, and Mom never got her ears pierced.
So I gave Mom the necklace and showed her my matching “mother-daughter” earrings. I’d wear my earrings when I went to visit and, as often as not, found Mom wearing her Mother’s Day necklace. I kept the set together after Mom died, but hadn’t worn the necklace anywhere.
We spent this Mother’s Day weekend with Brent’s wonderful mom, Jeannine. I brought a floral print dress in burgundy, green, and turquoise, and packed my earrings and the necklace. I’d wear them to church to honor my mom.
Sunday morning, we gave Jeannine our gift, then Brent presented me with a small box. Inside was a beautiful, delicate pair of earrings. “Look, they go with your dress,” Jeannine pointed out. Sure enough, the dark red stones picked up the burgundy flowers.
But I couldn’t decide.
We got into the car for church, me still wearing my mother-daughter set… but with the little box tucked into my purse.
We got within three blocks of the church before I made up my mind. I slipped off the beaded set and hid it in the pocket of my back-seat door. Out came the new earrings. We parked just as I got the second one secured.
Brent opened my door and said, as I got out, “Oh, you’re wearing your new earrings!” I smiled and nodded.
After church, I thanked him again for the earrings. “I’m glad I wore them today. I’d planned to wear my mom’s necklace set for Mother’s Day…”
He gave me a sympathetic, almost regretful look. “Aww, you could’ve worn them for your mom.”
“Yeah, but I have you with me now.”
What I meant was, I loved my mom, and she knew it. I don’t have to prove it to her now. She is not looking over my shoulder or keeping score.
I’ll never forget my mother, but as near as I can figure, now is the time to appreciate and celebrate the loved ones who are still with me.
By the way, I’m not trying to tell anyone else how to grieve. We all deal with loss in our own way.
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