It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.... As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye... ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. ~Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Gift of Memory and Love

Yesterday I got a very special gift in the mail. I had gotten one of those yellow slips in the postbox on Friday that said there was a package waiting to be picked up at the post office. My sister is here visiting for a few days and when we went downtown yesterday we stopped at the post office and I ran in to pick up the package. When I got back in the car with the package I said to her..." You will never guess who this is from." and she said "From Jan?"I was surprised that she knew. She said that she had received one too.When I opened the package I discovered this beautiful collage wall hanging that Jan had made.
Now, I don't usually get special, unexpected gifts in the mail and never have I received anything so meaningful and done with so much love. Jan is our talented and creative friend that writes the ~LITTLE PINK HOUSES~ blog and participates in a once a month vintage store in Walnut Creek, CA. She and I have become friends. We use to live in the same town when we were growing up and she found me when she was reading a post I wrote about Pleasant Hill, Ca. and a housing tract called Gregory Gardens. We started emailing and the rest is history.
When Mom died in July, Jan was so comforting. She offered to help us with anything we needed to do and she sent emails to be sure that Sis and I were OK. It was the kind of support that was needed..., someone letting you know that she was there if needed but not being obtrusive or making things more complicated. She was wonderful and on top of all the care and concern, she has also given us one thing more. A gift of memory. A gift of friendship and a tribute to Mom.This is one of the most beautiful gift I have every received because each part has such meaning for my sister and I.
The sheet music; Songs My Mother Taught Me by Anton Dvorak brings back memories of Mom sitting at the piano playing all the music of our childhood, teaching us to sing with her. The blue fabric (her favorite color) and lace decorations, the jewelry flowers, the birds and buttons all in threes; for Mom, Sis and I..., and under the last small piece of fabric trimmed with lace, on top of a line of music with words "Seldom from her eye..." is a transparent dove like bird, a faint ghost of an image...., Our Mom? I like to think so. Still near us. Keeping an eye on us and telling us that she is in a wonderful place and that she is happy.
She stands, in the photo, on top of the old water tank house over looking the Ranch in the Napa Valley. She is smiling, happy and filled with possibilities. Were we the lucky ones, her daughters, and..., we are the lucky ones to have a friend who would bother to share her talents and make us such a beautiful gift. Thank you Jan. We are so touched. This is a very special gift that you have given us. It means more that we can say.This song was done Andante con moto(andante con moto means moderately slow, walking, with motion.) which is how our mother lived her life; slowly, always walking in a good direction and always moving forward.
Thank you, thank you, thank you Jan. This is more than a gift. It's a treasure that we will cherish forever.
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6 comments:

KaReN EiLeeN said...

What a special gift. I love having something that you can hang on your wall. My most treasured photos of my father are in small frames here and there.....I see him every day that way.

KAREN EILEEN

JeanAnnVK said...

Hi there, I just found your blog while surfing around. It is really sweet...I love the posts about your animals! I look forward to reading more. :)

Anonymous said...

Blogger Madeline's Album said...

What a wonderful gift one I know you will treasure forever. What a wonderful friend you have that made and sent you this tribute. Have a blessed day. Madeline

January 16, 2010 12:44 PM
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Blogger Chef E said...

That is a beautiful piece of art work! I love getting gifts in the mail, such thoughtful ones...

January 16, 2010 2:17 PM
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Blogger Jo said...

What a wonderful gift of friendship. I am so sorry for your loss. Even after 9 years I still miss my mother so much, but at the same time if I sit quietly, I can feel her with me.
My love and prayers are with you and your sis.

January 16, 2010 2:36 PM
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Blogger Reddirt Woman said...

What an incredibly thoughtful gift from an incredibly talented friend. Isn't it wonderful the people that wander in, out, through and with us in our journey through life? I guess that is one of the things that gives us courage to continue on especially after losing those we love.

farmlady said...

These last four comments were brought over from a post that I deleted yesterday. It's a long story.
Please forgive my lack of computer savoir faire. I didn't want the comments to be lost forever in cyber space when I deleted the old post.

Jan Ely said...

I am so glad you love it and noticed the 3's and the white bird. The ruffles reminded me of a party dress, and the trianglar lace and blue corner was among the things of your mother's that YOU and YOUR SISTER so thoughtfully gifted to me.

Roslyn said...

Beautiful, just beautiful. Such a loving gift filled with treasured memories.