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The Gift of Small Talk

Sometimes a mother’s greatest gift is the smallest detail of her child’s life, freely shared.

Marion Bond West and her daughter Julie Garmon
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The small change of human happiness lies in the unexpected, friendly word. —Anonymous

In the midst of my kitchen chores I was surprised to have the front door swing open. Julie, our oldest child, came in. She’d been married three months. I was still trying to get used to her living elsewhere. Sometimes I even unconsciously set her place at the table.
 Julie handed me a small bunch of daffodils and said, “Guess what!” as she opened the refrigerator and bent to see what was inside. As I put the flowers in water, I answered happily, “What?”

She began telling me some small details of her new life as she made herself a sandwich. She’d learned to make pineapple-upside-down cake, from scratch, and in college she was now giving injections in the medical course she was taking. We sat at the kitchen table, and I watched her eat, hanging on to her every word.

It was a short visit. Julie had to go to work. I thanked her for the flowers and for stopping by; then walked to the door with her and waved as she drove out of the driveway.

Back in the kitchen I sat and looked at the flowers. My daughter’s visit was as bright and dear as the early spring daffodils. Suddenly, I picked up the phone and dialed my own mother’s number. She lived a hundred miles away. When she answered, I said, “Guess what!”

“What?” she answered expectantly. Like Julie I didn’t have any big news, just little details of the day, tidbits about the children. But I’d come to understand in the last hour how precious small talk can be. Just before I hung up, my mother said, “You made my day.”

Father, thank You for my mother and my children and the circle of love we’re inside.


This story is excerpted from Daily Guideposts: 365 Spirit-Lifting Devotions for Mothers.

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