Thoughts while Christmas shopping...

Although I posted this nine years ago, it still has value for me - and I hope it might for you, too.
It was a pair of wool socks that did it.
Well, actually it was a picture of pairs of wool socks in one of the catalogs that arrive around this time of the year.  A pair of wool socks...
I was thumbing through the catalog and came across a page of socks. They looked thick, warm, 100% wool and the colors and patterns were beautiful. My finger stopped the turning pages and I paused to see if I might order these for my mother for Christmas...
All of this happened in about 3 seconds before I remembered: my mother died in August 1994. Remembered? Well, of course I hadn't forgotten. But for a few seconds the Christmas list slowly forming in my thoughts pegged those socks for my mother. You see, my mother liked warm wool socks and many were the years when among the gifts I gave her were 100% wool socks for her feet.
You'd think that after 13 years this wouldn't happen anymore - but it does.  (And it still happens after 22 years!) And not just when I'm paging through catalogs. I can be at the mall or in a gift shop while on vacation and spot a trinket or souvenir and for a few split seconds think, "Mom would like this..."
I hope it's a sign of my love for her and hers for me that the impulse to buy her a gift can still be so strong within me. Years ago such moments were painful and only served to remind me that she was gone. As time passed, those same moments came to serve as points of connection with the woman who gave me birth and whom I called Mom for 47 years.
I think I'll buy some 100% warm wool socks and send them to Rosie's Place. Someone's mom is there and her feet will be cold this winter. I'd like to offer her the warmth my heart still holds for my mother.

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