Wednesday, January 7, 2009

...gifts from mom


It was our second Christmas this year with out Mom. Since her passing two August's ago, my little sister Leslie and I have done our best to continue to celebrate every holiday, every special event; from Thanksgiving to the dogs birthday. Mom loved to celebrate and decorate, so in her honour we decorated the Christmas Tree, hung garland, put up lights and prepared for our traditional Christmas morning brunch. We didn't last year, the tree stayed boxed and the lights stayed dim - I think we were just too tired and defeated after everything that had happened.

Mom made sure she was a part of Christmas this year too. Even tho she is gone, we never stop sensing her around us. While Leslie, her husband and I were putting up the Christmas tree Leslie stumbled across a plastic tote with her name on it. She brought it upstairs to the family room and called me in from the kitchen where I was making dinner. She opened the tote and discovered that it was filled with kitchen ware, silverware, dishes, oven plates, pots and pans, dish towels, and oven mits. It was the perfect starter box for any kitchen, something my mom put together for her a year before she passed. It's just like my Mom to make sure we had something to open from her even tho shes left us. I have to admit, I felt left out for a few days, I looked around the basement for a box labeled "Bret" but didn't find one...

I was coming home from work on the Monday before Christmas, it was about 5:00pm and I had an urge to go to the Thrift Store in St. Catharines, about 10 mins away. My friend Julie works across the street so I called and see if she wanted to join me, however she was already home from work, so I decided to go anyways. Something called me there. I grabbed a cart and shuffled my way through the store. I LOVE thrift stores, I always seem to find something great (like my new Jack LaLane Power Juicer for $20)... I was looking around that day in kitchen ware, looking at dishes. I have a set, well a partial set of antique "Johnson Brothers" English China. I found them at a Garage Sale (another passion of mine) about 12 years ago. I picked up 3 dinner plates, a couple small desert bowls, and 4 salad plates, I fell in love with the pattern on the spot. Ever since then I have searched everywhere for this set of China, I have never been able to find it again, not even on e-bay or their website - they have discontinued the pattern. Just my luck! Browsing through the glass and dishware I saw a plate from my Mom's set of "Coral" dishes. For sentimental reasons I reached over and picked it up and held it in my hands. When I picked up that dish, under it I saw a big serving plate with my pattern, it totally matched my set! I was excited, I grinned from ear to ear, and at that moment I could smell my moms perfume, and knew this was my Christmas gift from her. I kept looking around, I went to the other side of the shelves and was even more surprised. Here is what I found: 12 dinner plates, 14 salad plates, 10 bread plates, 12 desert plates, 6 desert bowls, 10 soup bowls, 8 cups and saucers, 1 serving bowl, and a gravy train. I felt like such an idiot, as I loaded the dishes in to my cart I cried, lol, all the way up to the check out lines. I'm sure the guy behind the counter thought I was partially crazy, with my puffy red eyes and my set of dishes... lol

I cleaned up the dishes and put them in my cupboard. I moved my everyday dishes up to the top of the cupboard and now use these as my regular dishes.




Christmas this year felt complete, like Mom was still with us. We exchanged pajamas, woke up and opened presents and had brunch. I still missed her, especially the look in her eyes as we unwrapped gifts but I know her spirit was with us.





Now, I am going to enjoy THIS cup of tea.
Embrace the Journey
Bret xoxo

15 comments:

Bohemian Single Mom said...

Oh wow, I'm crying all over the place here!
What a beautiful story. There is no doubt in my mind that your mom led you to that thrift store. Call it a feeling, an intuition, or a whim, but it was definitely divine intervention that you found those dishes.
Scents are very powerful and often used by those on the other side so we can know they're with us.

I'm so glad you guys were able to break through the grief this Christmas to celebrate. It's what your mom would've wanted. You are so blessed to have such a good relationship with your sister and her husband.
(((hugs)))

Pam said...

Bret you make me cry.Big big hug.

CrystalChick said...

What a wonderful story! Thank you so much for sharing it. I'm happy that you were led to those nice dishes. Of course your Mom is still with you. :)

I sometimes smell cigarette smoke in the morning in my bedroom. I know, eeeww, especially since no one here smokes anymore. But my Dad did! So instead of trying to figure out which neighbor might be out there that I can't see and try to figure how it's getting into my room, I just like to assume that it's my Dad. He was a morning person so maybe it's just him visiting at the start of the day.

Tori said...

That's a great story, and a great gift! Your dishes are something you can use every day and always remember your mom. =)

Ayre said...

Beautiful story and GREAT dishes. It FEELS nice to drink out of them...:) I'm so glad your mom lead you to them :)

Moonroot said...

Oh Bret, that is such a wonderful story! I'm crying too..

It reminded me of something that happened to my Mum (an only chld) when she was sorting through my Granddad's things just after he'd died. She was sorting through his desk and began to cry as she was missing him so much. She said aloud, 'Oh Dad, I wish I knew if you were proud of me and what I've done with my life.' At that moment, she opened another drawer and found a sealed envelope in it with her name on. It was a beautiful letter from my Granddad, telling her how much he loved her and how proud he was to have her as his daughter.

Needless to say, she treasures the letter.

Jane said...

Wow! What a great story. I love when these kinds of things happen!

Jen said...

I know that consumerism is supposed to be bad, but when things like this happen on a hunch, I just think that if one is really in tune with the universe magical things can happen, even at a store.
A lovely story, and one that you can treasure as you treasure your mom's memory!

Ffraid said...

What a lovely thing to do to remember and celebrate your mothers life.You're an inspiration.

It's a difficult thing to do, but sometimes we have to move into an uncomfortable place occasionally before we can move on again. It's all part of the proces, I guess.

Best wishes,x

Bohemian Single Mom said...

waiting. for. a. new. post.
...waiting.

Dia said...

Oh, what a wonderful story!! Like you, I love going to the thrift story (any!) when I hear one of those 'calls' - went yesterday & found some things for me, then noticed one of those wire 'clip' table top photo holder thingies - my daughter has been collecting them for her wedding (NEXT WEEKEND) & still needed another one - viola!! Her new fa-in law has the one's she's gotten to cut apart & remount - they hold 7 or so, & she wants singles!

I love this story! I wanted to sing christmas carols 'like always' with my dad, & just as I was sniffling about that, remembered my son had made a tape the year or so before - of him singing Christmas songs! So I put it on & sang along . . . .

Wanted to let you know the BROOM came today - check it out over at the Vale :)

iGoddess' evil shoe-loving twin said...

*comes up to the window, cupping her hands around her eyes to see through the blinds...

...peeking left, peering right, searching...searching...straining to catch even a glimpse of Bret...

.... .. ...

...

....

........still looking!*

"Hey! Where are you, hot stuff???"

Jennifer said...

i'm crying.
i love your writing and that you share so much with us.

i love that your mom was with you for the holidays. :)

what a beautiful story. i have chills.

this comment isn't well written at all, b/c I'm at a lost for words.

i'm so touched and moved by your story and it gives me such hope that when and if the day comes that i have to GOD FORBID say goodbye to my parents that they will always be with me.

love the dishes too. they are beautiful. :)

much LOVE!!

xoxoxo HUGS!

Nydia said...

Hi, Brett! So glad you're back to stay! :o) What a beautiful post, sweetie, you're gifted with knowing how to write... Jusat stopped by to send a kiss from this little corner of the world!

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