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Tattered Jeans

A love jug from a remarkable mom fills bellies and hearts: Crafted through cancer and chemo

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5 Katie Oxford December 2013 Love Jug and prayer offerings
I opened the lid of the Love Jug and found tiny bits of paper inside. Twenty-three. A word was written on each one in different ink. Tolerance in turquoise. Listening in orange. Patience in red. One, had more than a word and made me chuckle. Get rid of Grumpiness it read, in purple ink. Photo by Katie Oxford
1 Katie Oxford December 2013 Love jug
The Love Jug, a pot made of clay, with a folded piece of paper with Mama’s handwriting tied to the lid with delicate green string Photo by Katie Oxford
5 Katie Oxford December 2013 Love Jug and prayer offerings
1 Katie Oxford December 2013 Love jug
News_Katie Oxford_hair cut_column mug_head shot

Recently, my brother went deep into his closets and dug out items, mostly silver, that belonged to our mother, long deceased. His children were visiting soon and he wanted them to be able to view everything and choose items they wished to have.

The day everything was sitting out, I was there visiting. Crystal vases, silver trays, cups and pitchers lay spread across his living room floor like a picnic, shimmering in the afternoon sunlight. All except one.

Something brown shaped, no taller than the length of my hand had caught my eye. Somehow, it called to me.

Carefully, I tiptoed through the shiny things toward the little thing that wasn’t. It would prove to be a gift inside a gift.  Nothing in life is coincidental.

 Thirty years after Mama’s death, I was still learning about this woman. 

The small pot made of clay, now rested in my hand like a bird’s nest. Tied to the lid with delicate green string was a folded piece of paper with Mama’s handwriting. Very distinct.

The Love Jug is designed to help you join with others in a concrete way — with your own family and with friends.

Keep the Love Jug on the table where you eat, to be a constant reminder to you who have, of those who do not have their daily bread. The purpose of the Love Jug is to help you find numerous small ways to help solve the world’s hunger problem.

1 out of 3 will go to bed hungry tonight.

Fill the Love Jug with your prayers and sacrifices!

The stream of broken and torn hearts washing across this Love Jug symbolizes hearts — of God, of starving people, and of all those feeling compassion and concern.

I opened the lid and found tiny bits of paper inside. Twenty-three. A word was written on each one in different ink. Tolerance in turquoise. Listening in orange. Patience in red. One, had more than a word and made me chuckle. Get rid of Grumpiness it read, in purple ink. 

There was more inside. My favorites. A piece of paper cut into a heart shape read, The Thankful Heart. The Sharing Heart, one half of a heart was cut straight across. Another half, cut in a zigzag was labeled The Shattered Heart. 

Tightly rolled like a miniature map was something else. Typed. It suggested that at the end of each month, you take the coins offered with each prayer and give them to a food organization.

Lovely, I thought. Remarkable too. 

Thirty years after Mama’s death, I was still learning about this woman.   

The life of this clay, sorta like Mama’s, had been short lived. But, at the peak of her fighting cancer and chemo, Mama made a Love Jug. Then, art. She wrote prayers, colored them in beautiful detail and no doubt, gave them with coins.

For the hungry and maybe for the hungry of heart too.

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