Page 10 - Scene Magazine 41-12 December 2016
P. 10

 By Peggy Grigowski – Based on a True Story The Golden Wicker Basket
  It was the first Christmas without my mother and it surely felt mine. We had just finished with the tree and I glanced over at my strange. I felt like a tossed salad and everything inside of me was wicker basket of golden glass bulbs sitting by the fireplace. Mom jumbled. The emotions, the memories, the realness of her being gone called it my basket of gold. Those golden bulbs and that old painted overwhelmed me and there was really nothing I could do about it gold basket had always meant the world to me, and meant even other than roll with it. more-so now.
It was early in the day while Charlie was working. I began the This was the wicker basket that my mother had picked up at a usual routine; getting out my things to decorate the house with flares garage sale years ago, she painted it gold and then gave it to me. I of bright and colorful red, green, silver, and gold. I had more candles kind of smiled at the gift and sat it in the closet. Then she came for than I could count, along with sparkling flowered wreathes, candy Christmas, insisted I get it out and set it by the fireplace. Golden it canes and gold bulbs. And, of course, my silver bells in my clear was, and empty it sat that first and second year. The third year she crystal glass bowl that I found at Goodwill the year before mom found the golden glass bulbs at another sale wrapped the bulbs in a passed. Mom loved shopping at Goodwill and garage sales and she beautiful red box and gave them to me as my gift. I loved them at first
passed that love onto me. She always said, “You never know what good deals you’ll find after someone throws out their trash. I guess the old saying is true; one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
After scampering around the house all day taking my time decorating the living room, fireplace and dining area, it was time to bring out the tree and begin the family tradition of tree trimming. I brought the pre-lit tree up and adjusted all the branches. I started fixing dinner while waiting patiently for hubby and the kids to get home so we could finish the tree. With all the running up and down stairs all day, flowers, sparkles and music going on, the thoughts of mom slipped into a corner of my heart and lay
silent for just a little bit.
I had the job of handing out the ornaments and making sure each child had his and her fair share. This used to be my mother’s job each Christmas and now, it was
We hugged each other so tightly and mom told me, “These are for
your golden wicker basket so it won’t sit empty anymore.”
We carefully placed each glass bulb into the basket. Mom took the red cloth ribbon that lined the box and wrapped it around the handle of the wicker basket to add a touch of red to the gold and what a difference it made. We sat in awe of the beauty we had created for Christmas. It truly was a sight! It was so beautiful, so perfect, so mom!
I smiled, touched her face with my finger tips and said, “Mom, you’re the best!”
I knew she was sick then, but I just didn’t know to what extent. She kept her illness a secret until the day she died. It was just like mom; she didn’t want to worry me and she didn’t want special treatment. I was close to my mother and we had almost grown up together. She was a young teen when she gave birth to me and a single young teen at that. Nonetheless, my mother loved like no other could. She never married; I was her only child. She told me I was her golden gift from God. I never knew my father and that was okay.
Mom said he went to war in 1950 and never came home, but she did wait. He was the love of her life. I was born in April of 1951 and life was good. I never felt the emptiness of not having a dad. Mom was always there and she took care of everything. I don’t recall having much family around other than once a year in November, her brother, my Uncle George, would come to visit and bring us both a small gift but then one November came and he didn’t. Mom told me
Third Place
Scene Magazine’s Annual Christmas Story Contest

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