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  • Post published:May 15, 2023

The first time I was proactive in getting a gift for my mother without the aid and support of my father was the purchase of the necklace pictured here. With my pockets stuffed with coins, I peddled my bicycle over the railroad tracks behind our apartment building to a little shopping area where the store was located (a five-and-dime, not a Jared), and returned a successful hunter/gatherer with my prize in a paper sack.

Mom wore it proudly to church that Mother’s Day Sunday, and countless other times. I was told often that this necklace was the favorite piece of jewelry in her collection, and for a time I believed that my offering eclipsed her wedding rings, pearl ensembles, and jewel-encrusted broaches. When Mom died in 2015, my sister, Nan, was in charge of dispersing Mom’s jewelry collection, and the first thing she located was the blue necklace and returned it to me.

Presenting Mom with the necklace that Mother’s Day brought tears to her eyes, a reaction I continued to induce for years to come though rarely for such sentimental reasons. Isn’t that what sons are supposed to do, make their mothers cry? If so, I most likely exceeded the allotment of times a son is given to bring his mother to tears.

Those weepy occasions began to taper off when I married Kay. I think Mom’s quote to my bride on our wedding day was something to the effect of, “I’m handing him off to you. I did the best I could.”

In the long march to my wedding day, before the “handing off,” Mom said that she had long ago given up praying that I would have good friends or get through high school and then college or just go to church once in a while. She finally resorted to begging God to just keep me alive, at least until she could find someone else to take over. I know, poor Kay.