Today I was thinking of how many people have my dad’s photography in their homes. He photographed families, weddings, all my senior class pictures, children, families with their pets, and more. When he photographed kids, Mom would pull out a few of her hand puppets to make them smile. Once on a trip to Maine, she found a nun puppet who had a mischievious look about her, and she wore boxing gloves. Mom could make her put up her dukes, while saying “well, if you won’t smile, I’ll see what Sister Mary Margrett has to say about that!” and most kids laughed their heads off.

When Mom and Dad closed up shop for the photography, it was exactly the right time. New technology was just emerging, making everyone a photographer. But to this day, I’ll bet you anything that Dad’s wonderful framed photography is still treasured and admired.

When Mom started making jewelry, her creations were both lovely and inspiring. Her jewelry quickly became popular, and nearly each time she wore one of her necklace and earring sets, it would sell immediately. Mom also had a color sense that was amazing; she would put colors together that were both lovely and inventive. Before long, her friends bought and proudly wore Mom’s creations.

Mom turned her downstairs office into an art gallery. Once a year around the holidays she would throw her own jewelry show. We would haul out all the tables, drape each one with beautiful throws, and arrange the jewelry in necklace and earrings sets. She would also make beautiful Christmas earrings as well, and they always sold out.

When she received the news that her cancer came back, she chose to let nature take its course. She made the most out of the rest of her days, and her greatest joy was having her last jewelry show. All of her friends came by, but what they didn’t know was that Mom planned to give her friends the jewelry they wanted; no charge. Of course there were floods of tears, but Mom insisted that it was exactly what she wanted to do.

I treasure those last legacies from my parents. And I’ll bet I’m not the only one, too.

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