Just days after I had returned home from my grandmother’s funeral, my aunt called to ask if my grandmother had ever given me the medallion that my mother had once given to her. I assured her that she had, several years before. I remembered the moment clearly.
My grandmother tucked her hand into her purse and withdrew a small blue velvet bag. Reaching inside, she pulled out a beautiful gold medallion. Although I had heard the story before, she proceeded to tell me again.
“Several years ago, your mother bought two Mother’s Day medallions: one real gold, the other imitation. I have always told my children not to buy me expensive jewelry. Your mother, on the other hand, liked nice things. So she bought the imitation for me and the gold one for herself.”
“Well, somehow your mother got the two mixed up and accidentally gave me the REAL gold medallion. It was years before she discovered what she’d done. Of course I wore mine all the time, thinking it was an imitation. Your mother though had tucked hers away for safekeeping.”
“Even after realizing what she had done, she didn’t have the heart to tell me. That is, not until years later when she knew she might die.”
Emotions welled up. Taking a deep breath, I nodded for her to continue.
“When I tried to give it back, she refused. She insisted that I keep it but asked that after I died that it be passed on to you.”
My eyes filled with tears as my grandmother placed the medallion back into the bag and extended it to me. “I wanted to give this to you myself.”
Looking back at this very special memory, I remembered putting the medallion into my purse to keep it safe until I could get home. But as I continued to think about it, I became concerned as I realized I couldn’t recall anything after that moment.
“There’s only one place I would have put it.” I spoke aloud as if to reassure myself.
I hurried to get the key, opened the lockbox and shuffled though the items. The medallion was not there. What had I done with it? I strained to remember, but it was as if the memory had been erased.
Late that evening when the house was still and my children were asleep, I walked into my bedroom and sat on the edge of my bed. All day long I had prayed that I would remember. I had looked everywhere but had not found it.
Closing my eyes, the tears I had kept pushed down now flowed freely as I cried out in prayer. Dear Lord, I feel so badly. I have tried, but I cannot remember. I have lost so much already…
Sitting in the quiet of my bedroom, I leaned into the comfort of God’s holy silence. I became completely still, suspended in a rare moment without thought, only peace. Then suddenly with my eyes still closed—I saw a picture.
My eyes shot open. I had seen a perfectly clear picture in my mind of a little decorative box that a friend had given me as a gift. The box set on my bathroom counter. Rushing to pick it up, I opened the lid and there it was—my grandmother’s medallion.
The medallion is in a much safer place now. Every once in a while, I take it out and look closely at its intricate features and smile at the memories it contains.
On one side of the medallion a baby lay its head on its mother’s shoulder. She too leans into her child, pressing her cheek against her baby’s head. The mother’s eyes are closed, the child’s wide open. A smile rests upon the child’s face; both mother and child look content. It occurred to me that the child leaned into its mother as I had leaned into my Heavenly Father.
I never did remember putting the medallion into the little box. That memory is forgotten. In the late night hour when I didn’t know where else to look, I turned to God for comfort and was given the gift of a vision.
On the back of the medallion is inscribed:
Within the human heart is a special place that only a mother can fill.
How very true. Yet, I know the same is true of my Heavenly Father. There is a special place in my heart that only God can fill.
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