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September 1, 2020 By Marie Smith

Shopping with Mom

We are inside a tiny room. It’s very dark. I’m not afraid because Mommy is holding me tightly. A big piece of chewing gum is hiding proudly on the inside of my left cheek. I have just learned how to chew without swallowing it. Now she asks me to look straight ahead and smile. I’m a bit shy, but I do it to please her. There is a click, and something drops out of the wall. Mommy holds it for me to see. It’s a picture of us! I love having my picture taken. I am so happy we are at Woolworth’s 5 and 10.

Shopping with Mom brings back fond memories. When I was around four, she started taking me to Forbes and Wallace department store in my hometown, Springfield Massachusetts. I remember the long curving food counter on the basement level. It was there that I made a lifetime discovery.

I had always ordered the same thing because I liked it: a chocolate sundae. One day, Mom talked me into trying a hot fudge sundae. With great trepidation, I took my first lick of the thick dark sauce. Was I surprised to discover it tasted even better than chocolate! Never in my entire life did I go back to ordering chocolate syrup, not even Hershey’s.

In later life, Mom and I renewed our weekly lunch get togethers. In those precious hours, we relished our bond and mutual love!

As a child, my Mom always held my hand crossing the street. This ritual continued, without interruption, until the final three years of her long 105-year life. The first half of handholding was to protect me; the second half was to protect her. How blessed we were to have our lives run full circle!

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