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My most touching Mother's Day gift still graces my jewelry box forty years later. I keep it to remind me of all things love is and how much neglect it will endure. When my son gave it to me I was working full time, and "swimming hard" to keep up with church activities, school activities and sports, my civic interests, housework and family meals. "I am woman, hear me roar," was more reality than a line from a song! I was over worked, over stretched, over stressed and just plain grouchy. It didn't help that he was a handful to raise. He wasn't mean or malicious, but he was active, bright and very curious. Trouble just seemed to find him and it seemed most of what came out of my mouth was fussing at him for having done or not done something. I hugged him often and I told him I loved him every day as he left for school, but those words were very few compared to the nagging and exasperated ones I uttered. My constant prayer was, "Lord, just get us through this day with a minimum of trouble and criticism." I kept him on a very short leash because I never knew what he would think to do next.
One Saturday when he was nine, he wanted to go "garage sale-ing". I took him to a couple but he insisted I wait in the car. It was hot and I had things to do. I soon informed him I didn't have time for this nonsense, as he wasn't buying anything. I kept asking him what he was looking for and he kept answering he couldn't tell me. Because "I was the mama" and could, I refused to go to any other sales; he looked crestfallen but didn't argue.
Later, I discovered he and his bike were gone. I was livid. When he came home, I sent him straight to his room for the evening not asking where he had gone or why. I just yelled at him to go to his room and stay there.
The next day was Mother's Day. I am an early riser, 5 a.m. being my usual awaking time. He knew I would head for my rocking chair and my Bible. Lying on top of my Bible were two tops off milk jugs pushed together to form a round "box" of sorts with a ribbon wrapped around it. He had taken an ice pick (I had yelled him at earlier in the week when I found it in his room) and poked a design in one of the tops. Attached to the "box" was a handmade gift card that read is his childish scrawl, "These diamonds are for my mother."
He had left the yard to continue his garage sale hunt for rhinestone jewelry, which he thought were diamonds. Having found an old pair of earrings that had some of the stones missing, he pried the stones out of the settings and into his homemade gift box.
Oh what a lesson on love - on loving the unlovable me! I didn't get my Bible read that morning. I cried too hard. I earnestly prayed for forgiveness for my harsh words and actions and for help to be a better mother. And those "diamonds" have helped me to remember all these years what is really important in life.
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