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One Last Act

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I don't remember exactly how the story goes but I'll try to get as close as possible to the truth.
Several weeks ago I went to the funeral home for the visitation of a woman I have known since I was in grade school. Her daughter took the time to tell my friend Betsy and I about the beautiful powder blue knit dress she was wearing.
While her mom was in the hospital, a box had been delivered to her house and one of the children simply put it inside for her. "She loved to shop" and having a box outside the door seemed to be a norm. "I told dad not to take anymore magazines to the hospital." We laughed. Not too many days passed and her mom died and the children met at the house to plan for her funeral. Across the bed in the back bedroom lay the powder blue dress with the silver belt that their mom had ordered for herself. "Definitely not something we may have picked and yet absolutely perfect." We both agreed. To me, this was the one last caring act for these children as their mom. Who knows if this woman ordered this dress for her funeral? Who knows if this woman thought that it would be better for her to take care of the details so her children would not have to struggle over agreeing what would be best or what she might prefer? Who knows if this mom was sparing her children time and energy that they could be spending with one another in stories and memories and friendship? I felt at that moment as the story was told that all these questions could probably be answered positively. One simple act. One lasting memory.
The daughter went on to tell us that when she would visit her mom in Florida, she loved to wear her mom's accessories. There were plenty of choices and many pair of black or gray pearl earrings that she particularly loved. She realized how perfect a pair of those earrings would be for her now but could not find any at her home here in Nashville so she gave up her own pair. She told us how happy she was that her mom would be buried with a little piece of her. One simple act. One lasting memory.
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