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Mysterious Ways: One Last Gift

Mom had never missed a birthday, anniversary or any other special occasion. Now she was gone.

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My husband and I were just two weeks away from our silver anniversary. It should have been a happy occasion. But that day my thoughts kept drifting back to our last big milestone, five years ago.

Mom had been part of that celebration. She’d never missed a birthday, anniversary or any other special occasion, and she’d written a heartfelt card and given a generous gift for our twentieth. It wasn’t long after that, however, that she passed away.

My sister, Steffie, and I had spent a few days after the funeral cleaning out the first floor of the duplex where Mom had lived so that my niece Nancy, Steffie’s daughter, could move in. We took all of Mom’s clothes out of the closet, cleared out the drawers, divided the keepsakes we treasured and donated everything else.

A phone call interrupted my thoughts. It was Steffie.

“I have something to show you,” she said. “Nancy was rummaging through the closet and she found something that you really need to see!”

What could it possibly be? I was sure we hadn’t left anything behind.

Soon Steffie arrived and I let her in. “What’s this all about?” I asked.

“Nancy was invited to a costume party,” Steffie began. “She was hoping she could mix and match some clothes for an outfit. That’s when she saw the box way in the back corner of the closet. She picked it up and looked inside. It was full of old denim scraps.”

“Mom used them to darn my boys’ jeans,” I recalled. “I guess we forgot to throw them out.”

“When Nancy put the box back down,” Steffie continued, “she heard a jingle. She dug around inside and discovered this…”

Steffie handed me a simple brown envelope. On the outside, in Mom’s distinctive handwriting, were the words, “To Joanne and Dick for their 25th Anniversary.”

I opened it up. Inside were five silver dollars, minted in the 1920s. And an anniversary card.

“I know I won’t be there for your anniversary,” she had written, “but I know you’ll have a wonderful celebration.”

Our silver anniversary was a happy occasion. Somehow, Mom’s last gift had been delivered, right on time.


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