“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” John Bunyan


It could literally fill a bathtub,  that being the amount of jewelry that my  aunt had squirreled away  in hollowed books in her office.

It was willed to my mom,  who she passed away last year about now. My thoughts would bump into her every time I’d hear a Christmas carol.

And now, I’d bump into her jewelry every time I turned around.


The booty included strands of pearls, silver necklaces, semi precious gemstones  in  velvet boxes from companies  that are no longer around. Sarah Coventry, Service Merchandise, and Monet. Many with the price tags still on. All  with the subtle smell of my aunt’s face cream.

I looked  looked at the pile of jewels and wished I could ask my mom what to do with it but I couldn’t.  But she was floating around on a cloud eating chicken.

So I called my sisters for some ideas.

We decided to play Santa to the single moms living in the shelters of cornerstone outreach in Uptown, Chicago.  It would be a luxury they couldn’t afford for themselves.

I sorted through the the boxes for glittery surprises to give to sixty five mothers, each with an note of encouragement from my mom:

“Dear Mom. You have dedicated to life to your kids. I pray that you know that Jesus can give you strength. He helped me raise my children. Love Mother Joan.” 


A crew of volunteers helped wrap and distribute the jewelry.

It was a good way to feel Mom’s presence this holiday and regift her faith .

And share my aunt’s generosity.



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