The Broach

IMG_0449After my mom passed away, in August of 2015, we found something amazing among her things. It was a silly little broach. By itself, it wasn’t worth a dime — nothing more than marbles, rocks and metal. But it must have meant something to my mom. She kept it for about 55 years.

She wore that broach in one of our family pictures. I couldn’t have been more than five at the time the photo was taken. But, there it is, proudly holding her scarf in place.

My mother lived to be one hundred years old. Though her recent memory was clouded, to the very end she was a stickler for tidiness. She had us straightening her bedspread, getting rid of trash and picking things up off the floor right to the very end. When my father passed away, she had his closet empty before I could drive from Puyallup to Mt. Vernon. Nothing gathered moss at her house.


But after almost sixty years the broach was still there.

When I was about five, I remember shopping at a jewelry store near our home. I must have been alone during the trip, because I went home to my mother and said, “Can I have five dollars?” She asked me what I intended to do with the money. “I want to buy this beautiful pin for you for mother’s day.” I told her all about how lovely the pin was and how it would be so perfect for her. She had me get five dollars out of her wallet, and I went back to buy the broach.

I was so happy to buy it for her. It gave me such pleasure that she would wear it. All the time, it was she who had bought the broach.

And after she was gone, when I found it among her things, I realized that it must have given her the same pleasure. That makes me smile.

You know, we believers often present ourselves to God as a great gift. “Here I am Lord. Use my life! Whatever you desire!” We think we’ve done something pretty spectacular, letting him have all of us.

But like my mother’s broach, we’ve only given Him what was already His in the first place. Our life. He gave it to us, and we give it back.

But I suspect that doing so pleases our Daddy God, in exactly the same way my mother was pleased. If God had a jewelry box, your life, your sacrifice would be among his most precious treasures, for all of eternity. That makes me smile!


4 Responses to “The Broach”

  1. Miriam Says:

    Love it! What a precious story and sweet illustration of the Father’s love and desire for us. 100 years old. Wow. Heading to Colorado on Saturday to see my mom. She is a spring chicken at 84, but her body is succumbing to the deterioration of Parkinson’s. 😦

    • Bette Nordberg Says:

      I’m sorry Miriam. Watching your parents struggle is hard. Do you have siblings in Colorado who can help her? My brother was an absolute hero with Mom. There are no words to express my gratitude for his first-hand kindness and care for her. I took joy in finding ways to show my gratitude when I could. I’ll pray for your trip — especially in light of this latest weather phenom!

  2. Lyneta Smith Says:

    What a beautiful analogy, Bette. I’m so sorry about your mom. May you find lots of comfort in these cherished memories.

    • Bette Nordberg Says:

      Thanks Lyneta. Even when you know a death is imminent it can take you by surprise. In many ways, she’s been gone for the last couple of years. But you are right. The reality was harder than I expected!

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