Sunday, December 27, 2009


Several years ago, my Mom started giving Joy and I beautiful pieces of Waterford Crystal at Christmas. The first year we received an Angel, the second, a cross, and the third, a beautiful rose. These are treasured by Joy and I both. I proudly display mine in my china cabinet.

As I went about my preparations for Christmas, I found myself thinking of those pieces of crystal, and the thought and love that went into the selection of them by Mom. And, I realized that there would be no more.( Pop is wonderful in many is not one of them. Of course, he never really had to, Mom always took care of everything like that. ) It just made me treasure them even more!

As I have spoken to you about, Joy and I have been going through things of Mother's, and removing what needed to be, and organizing and packing away. We had decided several months ago, that we were going to pick out a special gift from among Mom's treasures to give to each of the grandchildren. And, on Christmas Eve, we went over to Pop's house to do just that.

We want this to be a special time of remembering their Granny. It will be hard without her, we know. And, since we all will be thinking about her...instead of trying to hide our feelings...we'll celebrate her life and how she loved us all.

Mom had a gift closet, and we decided to look there for anything she may have put away. We have been in that closet several times since she died, and have pulled out a few things. We found several gifts that we knew she had purchased for certain people. So, those will be delivered to them. We found some things we were not sure about, so we put them back to deal with another day. Then Joy said, "There are some boxes way back there, but I can't get to them." She went and got a small ladder so she could reach them. I was sorting some other things and had them spread out on the floor. All of a sudden, Joy said, with tears falling and words broken, "Tonja...look...look what she did."

And, I got up and went to see. In her hands were 2 boxes. Marked on the outside was Waterford Crystal. I took one and opened it up as she watched. There, beneath the careful packaging was a beautiful perfume bottle. We just looked at each other, and opened the other just to be sure that they were alike...knowing they would be. And, they were. Our final piece of crystal from our Mom came 5 months after she left us.

Over the last year of her life, Mom was in quite a bit of pain from her arthritis and issues with her bladder. She never went out alone. If she needed to go shopping, Joy always took her. She really was not strong enough to go by herself. But, somehow, some way...she managed to get 2 pieces of Waterford Crystal, and get them into her gift closet. We will never know when she did it...or why she did it so far in advance. Why did she have them pushed so far back in her closet? We never went in her closets before she died. It is surprising that we found them at all!

Or, maybe that was the way it was supposed to be. Something spoke to her heart to cause her to purchase them so early. Something caused her to push those boxes so far back, so we could not easily find them. If they had been in our reach, we would already have found them. And, then they would not be the Christmas surprise that she planned. Something caused Joy to be curious enough to go and get a ladder to investigate! Something...Something?

When God and Mothers work together...ANYTHING is possible!

We decided to put them back and bring them out on Christmas Day. But, Pop came in a few minutes later. He has been quite sad this week...and rightfully so. Mom LOVED Christmas. She enjoyed the cooking and the decorating, and the parties, and the gifts, and the wrapping, and the surprises! She would tell him what she wanted to buy and he would agree. She got us things from her and Pop. Sometimes he would tell her what he wanted to buy for us...and she would go and get it. And, Joy or I would go and do his shopping for Mom. I would imagine that is the way it is in many families.

Joy and I had taken care of getting his gifts to the grandchildren taken care of...but it was weighing heavy on his heart that he did not know where or how to go about getting us something! He even said, "She always took care of that for me."
So, we were able to say to him, "Pop, she took care of it this year also...look what we found!" And, when he saw that she had taken care of gifts for his girls one more time...he was overcome! What a wonderful surprise! What a confirmation of just how special she was. What a reminder of why we all loved her so much! She loved her family, she cared for her family...she cares for us still!

We are blessed!


Debbie said...

So special Tonja, and what a wonderful Christmas surprise. Blessings, Debbie

Southern Lady said...

Tonja, I still have chill bumps from reading this beautiful story. I'm sure your precious mom was smiling down on you and Joy as you discovered yet another gift of her love for you. The perfume bottle is absolutely exquisite, and I know you and Joy will treasure them forever.

racheld said...

Just another reminder of how much we are blessed---and I don't think you were totally surprised by the gifts. Awed and touched and so grateful, but after a lifetime with that precious Mother---not surprised at her providing and her remembrance. What a lovely story to read with first cup this snowy morning!!

My children will find words, not Waterford, but they will be there for the finding. I'm making sure.

Melissa said...

What a wonderful surprise! What a blessing that the Lord gives us those little "moments" or "breadcrubs", whatever you want to call them, to help us along!

Gail said...

Angels! Your Mom is among them! I think...This was a MAJOR WINK from God! What a wonderful Christmas stoy she gave you to past down to your grandchildren! LOVED this!

nancygrayce said...

Those will always be the most special gifts for both you and Joy! I love this story! This true life story of a mother who did just the right things!

Love Being a Nonny said...

I want to be that yours, that leaves a legacy for her children. Not only in monetary things but in their remembrances of me.. It is so nice to have a tangible reminder of your mother's love....I want to remember to do those things too. How truly blessed you were to have her for a mother. It's so obvious the influence she had on you and are caring on as she would. I know she would be proud.

Just Breathe said...

What a wonderful gift she left for you and Joy. Beautiful post. I often wonder about things like this, I too keep a gift closet but it won't have things for my kids until later in the year. Right now it has all the half price gifts I found for friends on Saturday. I feel so sorry for your Dad. Give him a big hug from me. God Bless.

Musicaljean said...

Oh, Tonja, that is so beautiful! And I love that statement - when God and mothers work together, anything can happen. That raises my faith and makes me smile.

Dianne said...

Tonja, what a SWEET story, and definitely one of God at work! I'm thrilled at the way things played out for Joy to find them when/as she did. Your mom, indeed, was a special one! I've been praying for y'all during these holidays.

Sherrie said...

Tonja, this is so sweet and what a precious gift for you and Joy. My heart aches with you and Joy. I still miss my mom. love you!!!

Kat said...

What a special lady your Mom was! And you're right, when God and Moms work together, anything is possible. Thanks for sharing this miracle with us.

Hugs from the beach!

Gram said...

What a wonderful Christmas gift. I know it was hard for you this year and I hope the gift made it a little easier. The year my mother died - on December 1st - she already had everyone's gifts purchased and wrapped. My mother was organized and always had gifts purchased but it was unusual they would have been wrapped by mid November which is when she took sick and went to stay at my sister's house. Somehow she knew and wanted to be ready.

I pray that your pain lessens each day.

Teresa said... am reading this after Christmas but feeling the warmth of God's love from such a sweet story. I am thankful Joy found these special gifts & you were with her when she that you and she will treasure for all the years to come. I'm thinking of all of you and especially your has to be so hard on him...but in true style...your mom continues to care for each of you.

Love and hugs to you and yours...

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.