Our mom was an amazing woman. Unassuming and trusting of everyone – a positive thinker and doer. No matter how tough her situation was with health or other serious issues, she always had a smile and concern for others. Filled with love and compassion, she was always willing to lend a hand.
When she was a young woman, she began collecting seashells from around the world – many times hooking up with collectors from other states, as well as other countries, exchanging these natural beauties from the sea. She amassed thousands of seashells, in all shapes and sizes, painstakingly cataloging each and every one of them. She also had an extensive library of books on the topic.
In addition, she had a huge collection of The Night Before Christmas books and pamphlets, going all the way back to the 1940’s until the year she passed away. These charming books, colorfully illustrated, appealed to both young and old. While the poem/story was the same, the various artists’ styles and graphics evolved through the years. Every December she would spend hours thumbing through her Night Before Christmas books and advertising pamphlets (big in the 50’s). Sometimes we would sit side-by-side and go through them together. Special times, special memories.
Throughout the years she would go to her local church or small-town function giving “talks” and sharing her love and knowledge of one of God’s most popular works of art, the seashell. She presented a lively history of some of her favorite shells, bringing examples of seashells and books for everyone to enjoy firsthand.
One year around the holidays, she offered to lend her local library some of her Night Before Christmas collection. They eagerly accepted her offer and gave her a huge display case in the foyer. She couldn’t wait to go in and strategically arrange her favorite books and leaflets from her collection spanning 70 years.
This down to earth woman brought happiness and entertainment to so many folks her community where many folks were struggling and lonely. Sometimes the churches, libraries or local senior centers were the only avenues people had to actually get out and socialize.
Perhaps you, yourself, have an interesting hobby or knowledge about a topic that’s worth sharing. Have you ever looked around your community and noticed senior centers, retirement homes, churches or other places who would love to have a volunteer speaker come in and spread a little cheer and history among the group? If you are a collector, bring some examples of the objects while you are speaking or slides or a power point presentation (depending on the venue).
Do you have an idea that everyone might enjoy such as a tea party, book swap, plant exchange, etc.? Then speak up, speak out – volunteering just a little bit of your time can bring so much happiness!
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL YOUR WONDER WOMEN OUT THERE WHO HAVE MADE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE THROUGH YOUR LOVE, KINDNESS AND COMPASSION!
MOM, we all miss you – thank you for making the world a better place!