Birthdays, Mother's Day & Music Boxes

Madame HarpI finally managed to get over to my cousin’s house and pick up Mama’s presents. I sent her some flowers for her birthday because I didn’t know if I’d be in Kings Mountain on Friday (almost wasn’t; got in around 11 pm) and I wanted her to have something there from me on her birthday (I wanted to give her her actual present in person).
Anyway, I gave Mama her birthday and Mother’s Day presents at the same time.
For Mother’s Day I got her an Ionic Breeze air cleaner. She’s 74 years old, has asthma and lives in a small apartment with a cat. This was something she really needed.
For her birthday, I got her a music box. Now, this is the reason I’m writing about this (not because I’m trying to convince anyone I’m a good son, after all). There’s a story behind it.
A long time ago my aunt, Loretta, and I went in together and bought Mama this very music box. It’s a lady in Victorian clothing and a hat, playing a floor harp. She rocks back and forth to the tune of Fascination. This became one of Mama’s prized possessions. Well, she hadn’t had it long (less than six months, I think) when she and Loretta had a big fight. Lo slammed Mama’s bedroom door, and somehow the music box fell. The porcelain form of the Victorian lady shattered.
Mama gathered up the pieces. The mechanism still worked. So she hoped that maybe we could glue the lady back together. I promised her I would try. But I never figured out how. The pieces went into a box and it became one of those projects you intend to get to “one of these days,” but never do. I still have the pieces somewhere in my storage building.
Well …
A while back I stumbled across the web site of the maker of this music box. The music box had been discontinued, but they still had some in stock. I bookmarked the link and put it in the back of my mind to buy it for Mama “one of these days”.
This year was the right year. After the conflagration that was 2006, it was the right time. I couldn’t give Mama back the family homestead that I lost. I couldn’t give her back the backyard and her flowers. But I could give her back that music box, dammit.
It was a good choice. Mama cried when she saw it. At least this once, in some small way, I could give her back something that she lost. I think maybe this time I was actually able to give her a happy birthday, and not just wish her one. I suppose that part of it was a gift to myself.
Anyway, I’ve posted a picture of the music box. I won’t say how much I paid for it. It’s unlikely Mama will read my blog. But a handful of relatives do, and they’d tell.

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