A Rare Treasure
The time had come! I needed to dig though some of those unpacked boxes from our move, over a year ago, from Dallas to Dalhart, Texas. I knew I would uncover both “trash and treasure” in the process.
Near the bottom of a box, broken in several pieces, I found it; a red dirt clay bowl. My hand was poised over the large trash can when the familiar voice of my husband inquired, “Are you sure, trash it?”
“It’s broken.” I replied.
“I’m a good gluer.” He began as he turned over the largest “in tact” piece, so I could read the inscription.
There on the bottom was scrawled AUTUM with an N sort-of dropped off below the M to complete her name, “Autumn.” “You decide.” He said as he walked away.
I could imagine her little hands rolling long pieces of clay and forming them into a spiral to create her bowl. I pictured the work; the thought; the design.
Thoughts about discovering I was pregnant at age forty, with my seventh child and despairing over the idea, came drifting back. I remembered the day in July when I fully accepted she was coming. That day, a friend, pregnant with her fourth child, experienced the loss of the baby just two weeks before his due date. He was her long awaited son; the perfect completion to her family of three girls.
Mourning her loss, I cradled my protruding tummy in my hands and cried out to God and my baby for forgiveness. Anticipation began to mount for my baby’s arrival in autumn. Without the benefit of a sonogram, I planned for a boy! I chose names and anticipated meeting my new child. They placed her in my arms; Autumn Joy!
Suddenly I was drawn from the past by a voice. “Well, are you keeping it or not?” Chalmer asked. I gazed at the broken pieces of clay in my hand. I was gone again, down memory lane.
I was reminded of a late night call. At age sixteen, just four blocks from home, she was in a terrible accident. The caller told me she was lying on her front lawn, bleeding. I recalled arriving at the scene and officers trying to hold me back. “I’m her mother!” I screamed. Kneeling at her side, she cried, “Mommy, I almost made it home.”
A drunk driver hit the car she was riding in, head-on! Scans, tests, ICU; these were the scenes for the next few days. Lacerations, bruises, a fractured pelvis; these were the diagnosis. I relived the long recovery period as her broken body mended.
I pictured her on the white sands of Cancun, standing before Chalmer as he united her in marriage to Jason. I saw her in the Baptismal waters with Jason as together they acknowledged their commitment to Christ. I envisioned her today helping patients at the WIC clinic in California where she works as a Licensed Dietitian. And, I smiled as I looked ahead to a special day when her little child will place in her hands a rare treasure and say “look mommy, I made it myself.”
“Well?” my husband’s voice inquired.
I handed him the treasure as though it were the finest China. “Repair it.” I begged.
I can see Autumn picking it up in disbelief one day when she sees it on my desk. “Mom,” she’ll say as she tosses her long curly hair. “Why did you keep this?”
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