Saturday, December 27, 2014

Day 351, December 27

Before and after Christmas, much attention is given to gift-giving etiquette.  What do you give to your neighbor, your boss, the postman, friends, and, of course, family?  One of the favorite subjects addressed on morning talk shows is "the worst gift you've ever received."

I don't want to talk about the worst gift I've ever received (a duster--cleaning tool accompanied with the suggestion that I needed to use it) but to tell you about one of the best gifts I've ever received.  Yesterday I wrote about my granddaughter's loving letter to me.  That is definitely in the best-gift-ever category.

Another gift stands out in my mind.  Seventeen years ago, I felt (as I did this year) that I had little reason to celebrate Christmas.  My mother had died only a few months before, and I was still grieving.  Larry's fledgling engineering business was faltering.  We were living on $10 an hour, rice, beans, savings, and a whole lot of prayer.  

Enter my two walking buddies Marian and Tami.  One dreary December morning they showed up at our meeting place with wide smiles on their faces. They handed me a beautifully decorated box and told me to open it right then and there.  Eagerly, I did so.  

Inside was a treasure chest of things I love:  handmade greeting cards, stamps, three angel pins, and chocolate.  I was overwhelmed and so touched that I started blubbering.  Blubbering in the cold and snow and ice is not a pretty sight, but there I was, red nose, red eyes, and a heart full of gratitude.

I don't know if Tami and Marian remember that gift or its effect on me.  I only know that 17 years later, I remember it and am still reduced to tears by that memory.  They had given me the best gift of all:  love. 

Joy for today:  remembering a gift of love. 

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