I love to check out garage sales. It’s not just the lure of finding a treasure for next-to-nothing that’s the attraction. It’s the opportunity to find something unique that is no longer available in stores.
Once I stumbled upon a garage sale where there were many poppy items and Christmas nutcrackers, both of which I love. I was excited to meet this fellow collector. When I heard it was a woman my age, who had recently passed away from cancer, I felt awkward and out of place. It was only when her son reassured me his Mom would have desired her collectibles go to someone who appreciated them, did I then feel comfortable enough to proceed with my purchase.
A year later, the small plate I bought that day is my favourite plate. It’s a bit chipped now but I can’t bring myself to part with it. I know it’s strange but I feel like I’d be dishonouring the woman.
And, so in turn, do other yard sale items have emotional strings attached. They may trigger something from the past and it feels good to relive the memory. That happened to me recently.
The seller was getting rid of a collection of Boyds Bears figurines. For dirt cheap, too! The husband and wife explained they had a curio cabinet full of them but were downsizing and had sold the cabinet. I bought a “Boyds Goes To Oz” figurine because I collect Wizard of Oz items.
Then, I spotted one that tugged at my heartstrings; a mother bear holding a baby bear.
It was called “Mommy Bearhugs with Baby Bundles…Late Night Comfort”.
It reminded me of the Royal Doulton figurine from my parents when I graduated from nursing. A nurse holding a newborn baby. You see, I delivered my first born a week after graduation! What’s ironic is my Mom was presented with the same figurine when she retired from nursing.
The figurine is significant because I work in obstetrics helping labouring women and post-partum Moms with their newborns. I often tell the tired, emotional mothers how I developed a newfound appreciation for my own mother on my first night home from the hospital. I was exhausted beyond belief struggling out of bed to nurse my new baby daughter. And, I thought, “My Mom did this six times!”
What I don’t tell the new Moms is that this is only the beginning of struggles. That there will be times when your children are grown and you will be exhausted the same, when they request your help. All of us mothers have been there.
Years ago, one of daughters was in a bit of a state. She called for us to pick her up in an unfamiliar part of the city. On our way there, we pulled over to allow police and an ambulance to pass by. I turned to my husband and told him,”Forget the GPS. Just follow them.” It was the same address, unfortunately.
God’s grace and a mother’s love for her child will provide enough strength to get through the tough times. Because no matter how much you try to prevent it, there will be some tough times. All mothers just want the best for their children, after all!
I don’t tell the new Moms about the struggles. I just tell them it’s all worth it. The sleepless nights are by far offset by a love like they’ve never experienced.
When I returned from the garage sale, I happened to flip over the Boyds Bear figurine. I found a Corinthian biblical verse that rings true:
“Love…always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.”
Yes, love conquers all.