The Fur Coat #3 in the 12 Blogs of Christmas

We didn’t talk about the diagnosis, nor the treatment plan, it was nearly Christmas after all. Mom had traveled half a day to squeeze in a visit between her chemo and radiation appointments. With her young granddaughter fully engaged in the excitement of Christmas, we decided to go window shopping in our little town. 

Like many small towns stretched across America, Christmas shoppers were essential, yet malls in bigger cities had a much bigger attraction. Oh, but our little town was festooned with twinkling lights and every store front window was decorated with glittering ornaments on evergreen trees. Shiny packages were nestled underneath giving further excitement to the presents that would soon be under our tree.

Walking hand-in-hand up one side of the street and down the other, it was as if we’d traveled back to earlier days—before malls, before hyper-commercialization, before cancer. We could wander through the stores without expectations and just enjoy sharing time together.

Then we walked into the antique store. Old signs, glassware, and relics from a time long past were displayed in old-fashioned kitchen cupboards. We climbed the tiny staircase to another area featuring clothes from an era when Mom was a young girl.

Among the dresses and shawls was a short-length fur coat. Mom would never buy one today, she would say it was wrong. But this one was like her grandmother’s. Putting her thinning arms through the sleeves, it fit beautifully. She smiled at her reflection in the mirror. Did she need the fur coat? She shook her head no. It wasn’t expensive, but I could see that she knew she wouldn’t have much time left to wear it. She hung it carefully back on the hanger.

While she and her granddaughter enjoyed ice-cream down the street. I went back and bought the fur coat. Perhaps she didn’t need it, but I wanted to see the smile she had while she wore it. 

I gave it to her as an early Christmas present before she traveled back home. Even though it was her last Christmas she could travel, I cherish those memories and that special smile forever. 

Isn’t it interesting how the sweet smiles of Christmas become the best presents we can receive?

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