From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

March 9

My father had died before I was two. My mother had to walk to work every day, bring three loads of coal up 17 steps and light a fire to keep us warm. When I was about 13, I got a job at a local department store on the weekends. I earned 23 cents an hour and was to get paid just before Christmas. I wanted to get my mother something special that year. One evening I saw it. The moss-green satin lounging pajamas and matching robe cost $25.95—a fortune in 1950.

Two nights before Christmas, I watched as the saleswoman wrapped the soft satin gift. My mother said it was the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen. Through the years, even after they’d fallen apart, she would tell people about those pajamas.

Many years later, the demands of raising a family had begun to show on my face and in my attitude. Mother was visiting us one Christmas. We were knee-deep in paper when she handed me a large golden package. Inside was the most elegant pink-and-gold silk lounging robe I’d ever seen. She, too, must have remembered those green satin pajamas and known how desperately I needed that robe.

Marion Bond West

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