It's been almost 14 years since my mom died and for the first time since then, I went through her jewelry box and was surprised at some of the things I found.

My ex-wife was generous enough to return Mom's jewelry box when she found it. It had seen better days, but it was a cheap box that she probably picked up at Ames way back when. The glass was broken, but there were a lot of things inside that meant a lot to her and some that I just found funny that she kept in it.

This is a necklace with a photo of my younger brother and me taken in the 70s. I remember hating to have this photo taken. That's why my brother is smiling and I'm not. The photographer wanted me to put my left hand right down near his butt and I wanted nothing to do with it. If you look closely, you can see it.

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My mom bought one of these for herself and one for each of my grandmothers. They're all gone now, but all three of them wore these for years.

 

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My Mom's Gould Academy class of 1964 ring. Gould Academy was right up from her house on Elm Street in Bethel. Apparently it was bought recently and is going to be turned into an Air BNB.

 

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I have no idea what the significance of the 1959 penny is, but she had it for some reason in a plastic pouch, so it meant something to her. My grandfather liked to collect coins, so maybe it has something to do with him. I'll never know.

 

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My mom was a nurse and got her degree as an LPN in Waterville at the Maine School of Practical Nursing. This was the pin she wore on her uniform and did for pretty much her entire career at Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway and later several nursing homes in South Paris, Norway and Auburn. Today they're called assisted living facilities.  The school in Waterville closed sometime in the 80s.

 

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This is the rabies tag for my brother's great dane Maggie. Mom loved that dog so much and when she died she apparently hung onto the tag. I had no idea she had it.

And now we come to the most unexpected thing I found in her jewelry box. Do you remember these?

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Before it was Hannaford Supermarket it was called Shop 'n Save. And in the 80s and early 90s, before the day of debit cards, a lot of people paid for their groceries by check. But in order to do that, you had to have a Shop 'n Save check cashing card. Not only did it let you pay at the register for your groceries by check, it also let you cash checks at the customer service desk. Mom died in 2005 after they did away with the cards, but for some reason she still had this in the bottom of her jewelry box. Again, I'll never know why.

I'm not going to lie. There were a few tears shed as I went through her jewelry box. Thanks for the memories Mom. I love you and I miss you.

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