Tuesday, August 11th, 2020

P Publisher’s Point by Jean Loxley-Barnard
Hidden Treasure


I returned from my granddaughter's graduation from William and Mary with a Mother's Day carnation, a gift from the restaurant where we celebrated.  It was evening when I returned home and I went straight to my china closet to select a vase.

A slender porcelain vase caught my eye.  It had been my mother's and I was glad to notice it on this second Mother's Day without her.

Kathleen and Jean Ferrick with the tiny Dutch shoe.

Kathleen and Jean Ferrick with the tiny Dutch shoe.

I ran some water in the vase, trimmed the flower's long stem and put it in.  It stopped half way.  Puzzled, I removed the carnation and peered into the vase.  A wad of paper sat on the bottom.  I poured out the water and paper wad into the sink and was surprised to hear a kerplunk!  Surely the paper wasn't heavy enough to make a sound.  I picked it up and squeezed out some water, wondering.

My mother was famous for forever making notes on whatever paper was handy.  Small note-sized pieces, even scraps, would have memos about what time her brother arrived to play Scrabble, what their respective scores were, what time he left.  My mother should have been a reporter - no factual detail was too minute to escape her pen.

I wondered what I might read on the wadded up paper.  Knowing she never kept what I would consider a diary, with feelings about life or even happenings, I wasn't excited about what I might see, just curious.  That was about to change.

Puzzled, I removed the
carnation and peered into the vase.  A small wad of paper sat at the bottom.

In the center of layers of napkins, it turned out, was a tiny shoe.  Not just any tiny shoe but a tiny, green, ceramic Dutch shoe with a history.

I was perhaps five years old when my father took me to Newberry's Five and Dime and watched me walk down a wide stairway ending in front of a wall of knickknacks.  It was there that I found that tiny  Dutch shoe for my Mum.  It was the first present I remember giving her.  Over the years I would see it move with her and always be displayed.  I gave her another, much larger Dutch shoe in later years, just for fun.  Eventually, I gave her a small gold shoe that she wore on a necklace.

My sister and I had packed up her belongings that we would keep and I brought home a box with small items that sat in my garage until I felt ready to see them again.  Earlier this spring I unpacked the box and placed the vase in the china closet.

Finding it made my Mother's Day complete in a whole new way.  It was the first time I ever received a gift from my mother on Mother's Day.  And that's exactly what I believe happened.

Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 39 years.