I've loved getting to know Amy through the online world. As an aspiring British person, I'm thrilled with her perspective (and excited for her forthcoming book. I hope that you enjoy her Mother's Day de(tale).
“Let’s stop at Macy’s and see if they have anything,” my sister said. I agreed, ignoring the inner prang that I felt knowing that my husband abhors shopping on a Sunday. After all, I told myself, we were shopping for my mom’s birthday and I was actually in Minnesota for this celebration – and Nicholas was 4000 miles away.
My sister and I had been looking for the perfect ring for our mother. With age her knuckles had spread, and now she was unable to wear the black onyx she had inherited from her mom or her eye-catching amethyst that was the perfect accompaniment for an evening at the orchestra. Beth and I thought we might be able to rectify matters – and see if we could surprise her on her birthday.
We moseyed along the glass cases, peering down at the out-of-our-price-range jewelry, then rifling through the cheap costume pieces we knew wouldn’t suit our mom. About to give up, we made one more pass of the glass cases.
“Hey, what about this one?” Beth said.
“It’s pretty,” I said. I tried to angle my head to see the price tag, “I wonder how much it is.”
Turns out it was perfect – silver and sparkle and on sale, on sale – in our price range if my dad would chip in (which we knew he would). When we gave it to Mom at her birthday dinner, we loved seeing the jolt of surprise on her face. And the story didn’t end there.
Before I left to go back home to London, my mom turned the tables and gave me a ring – a piece of silver and sparkle that I’ve long admired and prized, not dissimilar to the one my sister and I gave her. I didn’t expect to receive this unexpected gift, but she said, “Why wait until I die? Enjoy it now. It doesn’t fit me anyway.”
And so I wear this ring with gratitude, receiving this early inheritance without suffering the grief of my mom’s death. The ring seems so much more than a piece of silver and sparkle, for it represents the bond of women across the generations. A sign of love and of giving and receiving. A symbol of the surprises of that can be found shopping, even on a Sunday. A pointer to the God who cares for mother and daughter, separated across the miles, reminded of their love through this ring.
Amy Boucher Pye married her English husband nearly two decades ago and makes her home in North London with him and their two exceptional kids in their spacious but drafty vicarage. She loves all things to do with words, having worked in Christian publishing for yonks. She runs the Woman Alive book club and writes devotionals for many UK publications. Her first book lands on both sides of the pond in the fall/autumn: Finding Myself in Britain: Our Search for Faith, Home & True Identity. She’d love to connect with you – she blogs at amyboucherpye.com and tweets at @AmyBoucherPye.