A young man came into a retail store looking around for a gift for his mom’s upcoming birthday. As he looked into the glass case, he saw many brooches with different designs. One caught his attention - a copper flower brooch. It had six red grindstones in the middle of the flower. Somehow, his guts told him that this would be the one. He approached a salesperson and asked, “Ma’am, I really like this brooch for my mom.” She looked at him and responded, “It’s not cheap, son. It’s $4.99.” “Oh, my God!” he exclaimed. “I don’t have enough money now. But can you hold it for me? I’ll come back to buy it in a few weeks.” Quickly he left the store without waiting for her response.
While walking home, he calculated in his head how much more work he needed to do to earn enough money for the present. On the weekends, he sold oranges door to door for his uncle. He made 5 cents per bucket. This time he had a good incentive to sell many more oranges. Being so young and small, each time he knocked on people’s door, they would buy at least two buckets from him. He outperformed his older peers.
In two weekends, he made enough money to come back to the store. The salesperson recognized the young man as he set foot into the store. She was so touched to hear the young man’s story - his very first gift for his mom from his first hard-earned money. She carefully wrapped up the present nicely for him. Holding the present in his hands as he walked home, he couldn’t feel happier and prouder.
At his mom’s birthday dinner, his siblings and he also chipped in to buy a big present for her. After she opened the present, he gave her his. She opened it and told him how much she loved it. Somehow that night, he felt a bit hurt for thinking that she only said it to make him happy. However, to his disbelief, she wore the flower brooch to many places. As he got older, he still saw her wearing it. He was now convinced that she really loved it. Sometimes, she would make it a pendant wearing around her neck.
In her old age, she told her youngest daughter who cared for her in the last years of her life that she wanted to wear the flower brooch at her funeral.
Fifty years later, the young man is now a father of four and a grandfather of six. He stood in the same room as his mom’s body. He refused to look at her because he did not want to remember her or no one else who passed away in their lifeless conditions. Before they closed the casket, his sister took the flower brooch from his mom’s and gave it to him per his request. He now proudly placed it on his tie. Being a volunteer photographer/ videographer for our family’s event, I overheard him sharing this story with his aunt as they were chatting in the room. I turned the camera on them.
The young man is my beloved husband, Dennis. I witnessed how much love and affection he had shown his mom in the last six years that I have known both of them. I saw how much hurt he felt when he heard the news of her passing. Some nights, I woke up to hear the sound of his crying. His eyes were all swollen up the first week of her death. I have never seen anyone who has so much love and adoration for his mom as he did. Knowing our mom is now in Heaven, he has rejoiced. He said to me that he will be reunited with her one day.
We will treasure this flower brooch for as long as we live. It’s a special gift - a true love from a young man for his beloved mother. 💕🙏
Crystal H. Vo
January 16, 2021