Monday, November 05, 2007

The Gift

When I was a kid I was enrolled in a ceramics class as a way to express my creativity as well as to get me out of the house. I made some fun projects (a statue of Barney Rubble comes to mind) as well as some useful items (a coffee mug for my Mom, for instance).
One day my Mom had a specific request for me. She asked if I could make a plaque for her. It had a prayer on it, written in raised script and it was bordered by vines and flowers. It would be an easy task, made even more so because she specifically asked for it.
So I got to work.
The background was white. The lettering was done in gold, and the flowers were done alternately in a baby blue and a soft pink color with green vines. Once the piece was glazed and fired the raised lettering and the soft tones were really quite striking. I was proud of the piece and happy to give it to her.
On the day it came home my Mom was quite taken with it. She looked at it admiringly and then gave me a big hug. She told me that "this means the world to me" because this prayer meant a lot to her and that I had made it for her. She promised that it would be hung in a place of honor. True to her word, the plaque was soon hung on her bedside wall. When I asked why that particular location, she said because it would be the first thing that she saw in the morning and the last thing that she would see at night. I was both honored and proud.
I asked her what the prayer meant. She read it out loud to me and tried to explain it. I think I got the gist of it at the time but, sensing my doubt, she told me not to worry about it and that someday the meaning of the prayer would be made clear to me.
Eight years later my Mom passed away, on November 5, 1984. As Dad was out making the funeral arrangements I was left alone with my younger brother and sister. I went into my parents bedroom to try and sense my Mom, gone less than 24 hours earlier. I laid down on their bed and, sure enough, the faint smell of Jean Nate was on her pillow case. As the tears came rushing forth I looked up at the plaque that I had given her so long ago and read its words once again, as I had done so many times over the years.
God, Grant me the Serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
and Wisdom to know the difference.
And I knew the meaning of the words.

4 Comments:

Blogger Summer Ryan Doyle said...

Oh, Andy, that's beautiful.

11:33 AM, November 06, 2007  
Blogger FoxInDetox said...

Well I needed a good cry today. I'm sure you're more than happy to have unwittingly obliged.

Beautiful memory.

Thanks for sharing.

11:34 AM, November 06, 2007  
Blogger Andy said...

Thanks for listening. Sharing means that Mom hasn't been forgotten.

2:00 PM, November 06, 2007  
Blogger Cynthia said...

Your mother was really wonderful. In a way, you prayed with her those eight years.

Thanks, buddy. Peace to you.

12:02 PM, November 07, 2007  

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