As my readers know…it’s been a tough year. Losing my Grammy in January and then my step-dad in August has been overwhelmingly sad. But mom and I do as much as we can to have fun and enjoy life as they both would want us to. This year I knew I had to get my mom something memorable so I started looking for gifts that make memories.

Friday my mom had a tough day. I headed out to physical therapy in the morning and when I came home mom mentioned that when she was in the shower all she could think of was Dan and she just wanted to smell him. If you’ve ever lost someone precious to you – you will understand this. This is probably a good reason why some people save items (especially clothing) after a loved one passes.  It breaks my heart to know my mom is hurting – I can’t fix it!

In the back of my mind I knew the gift that was ordered for her would be here soon. It was expected to arrive on Saturday. Everything about this gift and how it all came together and finally made it into her hands involved tiny little miracles and nothing short of believing that Dan was with me every step of the way.

On Monday, December 1st I received an e-mail from Etsy with gift ideas from several different Etsy shops. I posted a note in my favorite Facebook group showing the girls an idea I had for a gift for mom, and my friend Amanda suggested a shop she had purchased from previously AND they had a Black Friday / Cyber Monday coupon expiring that day. As “luck” would have it mom left the house for a doctor’s appointment. This gave me an opportunity to go find a love note my step-dad had written to her so I could turn it into this amazing gift. I ran to the medicine cabinet in her bathroom where I had seen the notes and they weren’t there, and then I remembered seeing something in her dresser drawer one day when I walked in there while she was putting something away. I grabbed them and began my search for the perfect note – worried that I was disturbing some kind of system for what order they were in.  I scanned the note and successfully put them away without being discovered.

I am not known for my ability to wait to give gifts to people, but this year I was bound and determined I would wait and prove people wrong. The package was due to be delivered on Saturday so I knew I would only have to wait a few days to give it to her. When Friday came and mom had a bad morning and I knew the gift was coming soon I felt good knowing that in less than a week I could hand her this special gift from my brother and me. But when the mailman delivered it a day early I felt it was a sign from Dan that she needed to feel his love close by on that day. I texted my brother and asked if I should give it to her early, and he agreed. Mom and I had plans for the night to listen to the Georgia Boy Choir holiday show. I didn’t want her to be tearful before we went so I decided to wait until we got home, put it in my handbag so it would be right there when we got home, asked her to sit in Dan’s chair before changing clothes for the night and then handed her the gift and videoed her reaction to save it forever. My amazing mother broke down in tears so overwhelmed by the gift that was delicately created with a note from Dan.

Necklace for Mom (1)

This gift is truly a blessing to my mom…though it was overwhelming for her to see his handwriting on the necklace.  She hugged it so tightly.

We wish Scott and Nicole could have been with us when I gave her the necklace, but they were with us in spirit and I called Scott right afterwards so he could say he loves her too!

If you would like to get a special gift like this – you should head over to to Designed to Shine on Etsy (her shop is currently closed for the holidays, but head over right over when it reopens on Christmas day). The beautiful items in Hilary’s shop are perfect gifts for many occasions, but especially to capture the memories of a loved one who left this world too soon! The necklace I ordered for mom is the 1″ square in sterling silver. I feel that the prices are very reasonable for what you get – and I must say my mom is worth 1 million times what the necklace cost!

Thank you so much to my friend Jennifer of Freedom Love who made this awesome video for me!!

Do you have any special gifts or items to help you remember someone special?  Any fantastic shops that you know of for purchasing gifts that make memories?