“It is, indeed, the season of regenerated feeling--the season for kindling, not merely the fire of hospitality in the hall, but the genial flame of charity in the heart.” ~Washington Irving, Old Christmas
Christmas morning, in the midst of the madness created by my overexcited (yet loved) children, a stocking was shoved into my lap. I had not expected much as there is no spouse to buy for me this year and my parents are retired so I do not anticipate much from them. I fished around in said stocking and pulled out a dark chocolate bar and a coloring book (yes, for me) and a small instantly recognizable box from a jeweler in Nairobi.
This last item was a surprise as I am fully aware that my father has made trips to West Africa recently, but it has been quite some time since any of us have been back to Kenya. Not to mention, the box was not new. It was not even close to new. Inside was a simple, yet beautiful pair of silver earrings. I looked at my mother … and smiled. What more could I say?
“What do girls do who haven't any mothers to help them through their troubles?” ~Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
You see – my mother has quite the jewelry stash. Oh! None of it is extravagant or incredibly expensive, but it is a beautiful collection of semi-precious pieces mainly from a favored jeweler in Kenya and one in South Africa. My father, it seems, has great taste in accessories. Who would have guessed? Not me. I was in high school before I realized my dad was hand selecting stone and setting in the items he was purchasing for my mother. I have, on more then one occasion, rummaged through her stuff just to see what I could find (not recently, mind you … when I was younger).
There I sat on Christmas morning holding earrings once belonging to my mom and now, apparently, intended for me. I still have managed nothing more than a hug for her in an effort to not dissolve into a blubbering mess. I rather like keeping my emotions to myself on most occasions. I can not help but wonder if this is a preview of things to come. They can not afford the big ticket items that many parents lavish on their grown children. They can, however, pass down family items … memories.
Those earrings may or may not be a symbol of the sort of gifts I can look forward to in the future. Either way – they are very simple, but so very special.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ~Leonardo da Vinci