"What's the story with these chickens?"
"I don't know... We came down to visit Mom and Dad one time and they were here..."
Such was the reply I gave the dear little elderly gray haired lady standing next to me.
"I'd like to have those chickens. I really like them. They remind me of when we use to have chickens..."
The two fowl in question sat there on the lawn motionless as most lawn and garden ornaments and figurines are. They were part of all the accumulation of a marriage of almost seventy years that had reached its conclusion when my Mom passed away in early December, and Dad followed her a short two weeks latter.
Here we were four months later. All the odds and ends and household stuff to be sold off in the estate auction had been scattered around the yard, the garage, and the barn waiting to be bid off to new owners by the auctioneer. It was getting on into the afternoon, and the majority of stuff and already been sold off to whatever bidder was willing to dig deeper into their pocket then the other bidders.
"I really would like to get those chickens." the elderly lady said again. "I wonder if anyone else will bid on them?"
"Mom, if you really want those chickens, there is nobody here who is going to be able to outbid you for them..."
Those words of assurance came from the younger man standing with us; the elderly lady's son who was a friend of mine going way back to another lifetime ages ago when we had been in high school together.
It was going to be another ten to fifteen minutes before the auctioneer got around to bidding off the chickens. A few more times in that interval the conversation was repeated. The mom expressed her desire to get the chickens and also her fear someone would outbid her for them. The son again quietly assured her that if she wanted those chickens, no one was going to have enough to outbid her.
Finally it came time to auction off the chickens. I expected that at most they might bring twenty or thirty dollars. The bidding started. The son was bidding for his mother. I don't know how many bidders there were initially, but very quickly the bids were much higher then ever expected.
At that point the two remaining bidders were the son and another woman who I did not recognize. The woman would make a bid and the without batting an eye, the elderly lady's son would immediately raise the bid. The bids continued on up past all reasonable expectation. The other bidder stared over at my friend in frustration, then finally gave it up.
I smiled in my heart. Mom and Dad's chickens were going to a good home where they would be loved and appreciated by a kind elderly gray haired lady who has a son who demonstrated that you do not and can not put a price tag on love for a mother.
Copyright May 2013, J. William Newcomer, all rights reserved.