This week I’m dealing with the loss of my mother-in-law, Betty Green. Betty was a delightful person – outgoing, out-spoken but never mean, giving, generous. She was also a thrift-store junkie and a crafter, like me.
Betty and I rarely shopped together, but we had a lot of fun showing each other our many wonderful “finds.” One day when Betty and Art stopped by for a visit, I had a whole box of goodies to show her – I knew she’d get a kick, as always, out of my bargains, and hearing the circumstances of each particular item.
As I went through the box, I pulled out this pretty blue ceramic vase. I had spotted this vase at a thrift shop and really liked the bird motif and the pretty blue color. But I almost didn’t buy it, simply because it was so small at about 6 inches high – and seemed, due to its size, to be lacking in real utility. In fact, I set it back on the shelf and walked away from it. I passed by it a few more times while wandering around the shop, and ultimately I couldn’t resist its charms.
As I was showing it to Betty and telling her its story, Art said to her, “That looks like that vase you painted for Clara a long time ago.” (Clara, Betty’s sister, had passed away a year or so prior to this.) And Betty said, “Well if it’s the one I painted it would have my initials on the bottom.”
We turned it over and sure enough, on the bottom, were the initials “B.G.” and the number “87” – a year which fell smack-dab in the middle of Betty’s ceramics-class phase.
We all marveled at this incredible coincidence. What were the odds that I would be the person who purchased an item made by my own mother-in-law, more than a decade ago, from a thrift store where the inventory changes daily?
Of all the objects in our home that remind us of Betty, this is the one that I have cherished the most since that day. I daresay it’s not likely to end up in a thrift store again, any time soon.
Love and miss you, Betty, more than I can say.