When I was just seven years old, my Dad and I went shopping for a Mother’s Day gift. At the time, the big childhood craze was Strawberry Shortcake, a sweet little doll that, in recent years, has made a comeback.
My Mother, an avid coffee drinker, worked nightshift and commuted nearly two hours from our Southern Ohio home, one way, to work, every shift she was scheduled. I adored my Mom, but for the obvious nature of her commutes, I did not have the chance to spend as much time with her as I would have liked.
I knew then, though I am better able to appreciate now, that Mom worked such a schedule and such a distance away because doing so better allowed her to provide for our family and more specifically, my own, needs. That being said, I wanted to purchase something very special for my Mom, in honor of the Mother’s Day holiday.
For days on end, my Dad and I would scour the aisles of several stores in our small hometown, trying to find the perfect gift. I remember Dad mentioning, “How about this?” or “How about that?” and my comment was always one of uncertainty. The gifts he had pointed out to me were nice, but I had wanted something really special; therefore, the search continued.
Three days before Mother’s Day, and as patience had begun to wear a little thin, I saw the perfect gift: A little, white Strawberry Shortcake coffee mug, with strawberries all over it. The inscription on the mug said, “You’re the Berries.”
The mug, in my then-eight year old eyes, held an appeal of sweetness, a message that spoke to the love I have towards my Mom, and also allowed her to enjoy something that, otherwise, makes her allergic (Mom is very much allergic to strawberries.)
I gave Mom the mug on Mother’s Day in 1988 and to this day, nearly 20 years later, she still owns (and uses) the mug, nearly every day. The mug has survived roughly thirty moves to four different states and countless runs through the sink or the dishwasher as well as many moments of joy and of heartache. Through it all, the mug looks no worse for the usage it has seen over the last 2 decades. The colors painted on the mug are still as pure and red as they were, all those years ago; my love for my Mom (and her love for me) is just as strong, if not stronger than it was, all those years ago.
In today’s society, it is so easy for us to become so caught up in our busy lives and in the material things we enjoy that we fail to stop and appreciate the beauty in the relationships we cherish or the deeper meaning held within the precious items we hold near and dear to our hearts. I am sure that most people who bought a coffee mug in 1988 have long since broken it, lost it, or sold it for fifty cents in a yard sale; but, to my Mom, her special Mother’s Day mug is a symbol of my childhood and becomes more precious to her as the years pass and as we both grow older.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Copyright © 2008 – Jill Eisnaugle.
All rights reserved.
Jill Eisnaugle is the author of Coastal Whispers and Under Amber Skies.
She resides in Texas City, Texas with her family and pets.