One of the writing prompts for #FridayReflections, a blogging group I belong to, was to write a post about something in my home that has been handed down to me. I needed to describe it, take a photo and tell the history and meaning of this item.
Another option for a writing prompt was free writing so I could have taken the easy way out and selected that but when I started thinking about what to write, I remembered I did have something very special that I could write about. Very special to me anyway.
It will be 29 years in June since my darling mother passed away, after a 10 year long battle with breast cancer. Back in the late 70s and early 80s cancer treatment was very much in the experimental phase and my poor mum suffered with the treatment. Countless rounds of chemo and radiation therapy – she had so much that in the end her hair never grew back.
At the time, my Mum was living with us for some of the time. We thought Dad would outlive her but he was a cancer victim too, although it was so aggressive he was gone within 6 months of diagnosis.
I can remember the morning so clearly. It was a chemotheraphy day for Mum and I took a morning ‘cuppa’ into her while she was still in bed. She must have known something because she gave me this beautiful jewellery box which my cousin had brought back from China as a souvenir for Mum. It is covered in fabric with a beautifully embroidered top. Although it has aged and probably needs a clean, I treasure it as it was the last gift my mother gave me.
Mum never had many possessions – she made sure her children had the best of everything at her expense – like many mothers do. This jewel box had special meaning because my cousin (my godmother), was like a daughter to Mum and they were very close. Mum treasured this gift from exotic China especially as my cousin visited at a time when not many Westerners especially tourists, visited the country. I am lucky that I carry on that special, loving relationship with her today.
Mum pressed it into my hand and said she wanted me to have it. I remember joking with her, and saying ‘I’ll just keep it until you come home’, although deep down I was concerned.
Mum never came home that day. She had two heart attacks over the next two weeks and then finally passed away peacefully – thanks to the morphine.
She was a beautiful soul, never complaining, even when we knew she was in pain and everyone who knew her loved her.
I would rather have my Mum, but now I keep her pearls in the jewel box, in pride of place on my dressing table. The pearls need to be restrung so I don’t wear them, and the box is now a little worn but every day I see that box and it reminds me of a special woman who I was honored to call my Mum and who gave me so much to be thankful for in my life.
I shall treasure this last physical gift from my mum and will pass it on to my daughter in years to come. However, I treasure more the gift she gave me of teaching me to be a caring, tolerant, compassionate and loving person, which are gifts more special than any material gift. If I can be half as good as my Mum was, I will be doing more than okay.
Let’s Keep Sizzling!