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The True Meaning of Mother’s Day

posted Thursday May 15th, 2014


Mother’s Day came and went like the wind this year. I told my family it was the best one ever, and it’s true. And not just because of the gifts, though there were gifts.

We were in Denver for my nephew’s Bar Mitzvah (he knocked it out of the park!) and my sister wisely made no plans for Sunday. The weather turned and it snowed, resulting in a snowball fight in the hotel’s indoor pool among the 13-and-under crowd. Back at my sister’s house, we picked at leftovers, gossiped about the weekend’s events, and I stole a quick nap while my father watched golf on television.  (Golf on television — better than a sleeping pill.)

And then there were the gifts. In my old age I’ve learned to ask for what I want. Otherwise, I sulk. This is not a point of pride; I know myself too well. And so when I found an old-fashioned little silver pendant online inscribed with “Mother,” on sale at my favorite shop in New York, I emailed Ray a picture of it and, just to be sure, showed it to Annabelle, as well, figuring she’d give him a nudge.

Then I tried to forget about it.

The girls spent the night at my sister’s house Saturday night, and I missed them when I woke up, but was distracted when Ray left a tiny box on my pillow: the necklace. I squealed and hugged him and put it on right away — the pendant is a token, really, nothing extravagant. It was the fact that he got me what he knew I wanted that was so touching.

Delighted, I went downstairs to the hotel lobby to find the rest of the family. I showed Annabelle the necklace as soon as I saw her.

Her face fell.

“I guess I won’t give you my gift,” she said.

“What?” I asked, confused. “Of course you should!”

Shyly, she presented me with a tiny, recycled mint tin.

“I couldn’t afford the necklace you wanted,” she said. “So I made you this.”

Inside was the pendant — a remarkable duplicate — made out of  duct tape, Sharpie and a string of sequins. It was beautiful. More beautiful than the original, I assured her, putting it over my head. I wore it all day, taking it off only when we got to the airport, afraid the string would rip and I’d lose my treasure.

And yes, in case you’re wondering, I felt like shit.

Still, it was the best Mother’s Day ever.



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One Response to “The True Meaning of Mother’s Day”

  1. Great post. Kids definitely have a way of twisting your heart in knots when you least expect it. Impressed with what Annabelle made, by the way. That’s pretty darn good.

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