Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Mother's Day Gold

There was a day, in the nineties, when wearing big gold chains didn’t mean that you were a rap star or an old single dude thinking he is hip. It was the thing everyone did.

Times and styles change, so I don’t often wear yellow-gold anymore, but I am old enough to say that it once was all I wore. Today, I was in a yellow-gold sort of mood. That usually entails me wearing one of my grandmother’s old rings, finding my gold earrings, and adorning my gold bracelet (a gift from our dog Teddy). Yes, my dog gave me a present. I’ll explain later.

As I clasped the bracelet onto my wrist, I thought back to years ago and a lesson taught to my youngest son.

When he was about six years old, I had taken him with me on a shopping trip. I was bargain hunting, not something that a six-year-old boy wants to do. To occupy himself, he pushed his way into the center of the round racks of clothing where I flipped through looking for the deal of the century. This activity seemed harmless enough. As we moved to our third rack and he dived to the center, he quickly emerged saying, “Look mommy, look what I found!”

His small hand produced a nice looking gold chain. I took a look at his treasure. At first, I thought it might be a fake, but with closer inspection I was able to see the 14K stamp on the clasp. The necklace was heavy, and I knew that the price of gold was at an all-time high. His find was valuable.

His big blue eyes looked up at me and said, “Can we keep it?”

I thought for a minute. There was the old saying, ‘Finders keepers, losers weepers,’ and really there would be nothing wrong with our taking the item home. I reasoned that if I found a twenty-dollar bill in a parking lot, I wouldn’t try and find its owner. I looked at his innocent face and decided this was one of those teachable moments. I had to show him how to do the better thing.
I explained, “Someone lost this, and they might come back for it. Come with me and we will find the manager.”

When the manager met us at the service desk, I told her about his finding the necklace. I asked her to keep our name and number, and if no one claimed it in a week we would come back for it.

The smiles on the face of the manager and her co-worker instantly told me that we would never see that gold chain again. I wanted a do over. I should have given them our phone number and said we had found a jewelry item, and they could have the owner call and describe it, but it was too late. As my son and I went back the next week, my suspicions were confirmed. The manager told us that ‘someone’ had claimed the chain.

I talked to my son and said, “We did the right thing turning it in.” He got in the car and said, “I wanted to give it to you, mommy.”

As we pulled into our driveway our fuzzy little dog, Teddy, came to greet us. He always had something in his mouth, sometimes a pinecone, sometimes a stick, but always something. I reached down to pet him and noticed something shiny in grass. I picked up a thick, gold bracelet and showed it to my son. “Look Bubby, I think Teddy brought me a bracelet to replace the necklace. He must have found it in his neighborhood ramblings and brought it home.”

I put the bracelet on while both Teddy and my son smiled.

I’m not sure what my son learned from the way we handled his finding the necklace; he probably learned that people are dishonest and not to trust. I learned that sometimes God sees dishonesty and uses a little fuzzy dog to overcome it. Years after Teddy’s passing, I still enjoy his Mother’s Day present to me.

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