a2z is for the letter “Q”
I have this roll of quarters on my desk. It’s been there for several years. Many times I’ve been tempted to break it open. Especially now when our well is dry and we have to buy water to fill it. That’s $14.00 in quarters and my roll only holds $10.00 so I keep it intact. Waiting.
Waiting for what?
I’m not sure. But when it’s time I’ll know it.
The story of the roll of quarters is what is important to me. a few years ago mom gave them to me at Christmas and said, “Remember when?”
Tears stung my eyelids. I hugged her and said, “I’ll never forget.”
When I was 15 my dad left our family. Money was almost nonexistent in our home. (but that’s another story for another day) Christmas was coming and mom wanted to make it special for my brother. He was 11 and still starry-eyed over what would be under the tree Christmas morning. Mom had been saving quarters all year. She told me about it in the fall and I didn’t spend any of mine either. We stored them in a secret container in her room.
A few weeks before Christmas, Karl my brother, was gone for the day. Mom and I poured the quarters on the counter and started counting. We had a little over $75.00. It was enough to buy a small television Karl had on his Christmas list.
Quarters back in the container, we headed for the small store in town that had furniture and appliances.
Looking at the prices we were discouraged. There didn’t seem to be one that we could afford. Then we spied it! Sunshine yellow plastic (it was the ‘70s) surrounded a 12” screen. It was a perfect size for his room.
“That’s it. That’s the one.” Mom said. “We’ll take it.”
The clerk was quite surprised when we dumped the quarters out to pay for it. Before long he got into the spirit of the gift as we helped him stack the quarters.
I don’t remember what mom gave me for Christmas that year. I’m sure it was nice, but the best gift was seeing my brother’s face when he opened the box and knowing I helped a little in that happiness.
When I see that roll of quarters on my desk I think about mom and my brother. I miss him. A lot. The quarters make me smile and I think that’s why I don’t spend them.