Every year I’d buy Mom the same gift in early May just as the pink and white crab apples trees would start smiling for the camera.
Mom’s present would be the best and brightest hanging plant of the season for the back porch.
But she wouldn’t receive hers on Mother’s Day like most moms.
My mother would receive her gift early on May 5.
It was Mom’s birthday.
With my own blooming apple trees as a canopy, I dragged a couple of old boxes out to my backyard last night with a goal of sorting through and tossing out most of the contents.
The first I discovered was full of Mom’s old photos. I almost closed the box before starting knowing this pastime wasn’t going to help my melancholy mood any.
Mom’s been gone for two years now.
But I kept going, throwing out tired old albums, duplicate photos, bad shots, and pictures of people I don’t know.
My sour mood remained, but I grabbed another box from the garage anyway.
Though this time I quickly dropped it when I heard something rattling inside.
A mouse maybe? A squirrel?
Yet it didn’t sound quite like either one.
The rattle had a lilting magical quality, like ‘fairy dust’ for the ears.
I opened the cardboard box slowly, and then saw the light.
Or maybe I should say ‘lights’.
There were plenty of them.
Hot pink, lemon yellow, royal blue, lime green.
And the colors were twirling faster and faster.
Right on top of a mini princess wand!
Instantly my last memory replayed of Mom together with my two year old granddaughter. I could see them smiling and giggling as they joyfully pushed the heart shaped buttons of the magical, musical toy.
Then underneath the wand I discovered more buried treasure.
Magnificent photos of my daughter with her own grandmother.
It’s my last memory of the two of them together as well.
Yet the magic still continues to this day.
My daughter will be forever blessed to share the same birthday, May 5, with her grandmother.
And my granddaughter will soon be receiving a slightly used but priceless princess wand from me.
I believe memories truly are a gift, but shouldn’t be left hung out to dry.
Instead the very best of them should continue to be lovingly recycled.