The old woman picked up the glass jar of buttons, used to prop up her books.
She tilted the jar so the buttons tumbled from side to side. There, that pearl like button was from the wedding dress her mother had made for her. Dan had looked so handsome in his tuxedo, he took her breath away.
That tiniest button was from Susan’s christening gown. She had been so small and fragile. The woman had been afraid to pick Susan up the first time; afraid she wouldn’t make it long enough to be baptized. She had thought to alter the heirloom gown after her mother brought it to her. It had been handmade by her grandmother. Even though the gown swamped Susan, her mother was insistent it remain unaltered.
The yellow button was from Susan’s yellow sundress. The woman smiled as she remembered Susan making sandcastles in that dress.
The blue button was from John’s baseball uniform. He was so proud the first time he hit a home run. She thought Dan would burst the buttons on his shirt too.
The larger blue button was from Dan’s favorite shirt, worn thin enough to be almost transparent. She had attempted to throw it out several times but somehow Dan always rescued it.
The two round black buttons had originally come from the woman’s mourning dress when Dan had died, too young. She couldn’t bear to look at the dress after the funeral and had thrown it out after removing the buttons (her mother had raised her to be practical).
Later two of the black buttons became the eyes for her granddaughter’s much-loved teddy bear.
Now she handed the jar to her great granddaughter. “Take these,” she said. “They are not just buttons.”