THANK YOU to everyone who participated in my “gift” story request. I was pleased with how many of you wanted to share, and surprised by those who submitted. I expected many of my writer friends and family members to provide a tale–I even imagined what a couple of them would say was their most treasured “gift”. I got a few from friends and family, but interestingly enough, I received several submissions from people otherwise unknown to me.
I was provided enough stories to require multiple blogs. Please take the time to read them all! Some are very short, others are full essays. A few are complete stories, others are passing comments. All are important to the writer, whether they be the giver or the given.
I consider each of these a gift.
An antique sterling silver evening bag from my dad. He tucked a 50 dollar bill in it. I still have the bag😁
When my mom was first diagnosed with bladder cancer I ordered her this. She was Catholic and even though I am an atheist I thought it would comfort her. She loved it. She never took it off. She would rub it between her fingers for comfort. It saw her through bladder cancer, and then breast cancer. She wore it until she passed away back in May while holding my hand. My dad took it off of her neck and gave it to me and I have worn it ever since. It means more to me than any possession I own.
Amanda W C
The story I want to share is not about a traditional “gift” but I think it’s perfect for your blog about Thanks, Gifts, and Giving. In 1985, I was a rebellious, hormonal teenage girl. After (another) particularly rank argument with my ridiculously stupid parents (fifteen year old me’s words, not mine), I stormed off to my bedroom, slammed the door and flopped onto my unmade bed. That was it, I had had it. I was outta there. I grabbed one of the old suitcases stashed at the back of my closet and started pulling shirts off hangers and stuffing them in. Pants, socks, repeat as needed. When I got to my underwear drawer, I stopped cold. Up until this moment, I had held the focus of my ire on my clueless parents. Now, I was awash with fresh anger at my eighteen year old brother. He had stayed out of the parental exchanges and pulled a ‘Switzerland’ when they’d tried to invoke him. Not only had he been in MY ROOM, but he’d opened my underwear drawer! On top of my panties and bras was a handwritten note from my brother. It said, “Be patient. They’ve never raised a 15 year old girl before. They’re learning on the fly. You have to help teach them.” It was so stupid. “Learning on the fly”? What the hell was that supposed to mean? “You have to help teach them.” BUT I’M THE KID! The note tripped me up. And slowed me down. I unpacked my bag—well, I shoved things back in the drawers and closets. Baby steps. He and I never discussed it but I’ve never forgotten that note. His stupid words clung to the back of my brain. Cling still—talk about a gift that keeps on giving! Oh, and BTW, my parents are totally awesome now. I credit their teacher. LOL.
My most precious possessions are my daughters & family. One of my favorite gifts was the year I asked for photos of my daughters together. They asked a good friend of ours to take the photos. I was delighted and so touched when they gave us photos of the the three of them together dressed in winter jackets with colorful scarves while it was snowing! Photos of my loved ones mean so much to me! ❤
When I was young, maybe four or five, my dad gave me a charm bracelet that he’d picked up at a gas station. He traveled a lot, was always on the road, hardly ever home. It was a Christmas themed bracelet with charms like a tree, Santa, reindeer, etc. He started picking up charms on his travels. Charms that represented the state he was in, other holidays, our family trip to Disney, etc. My mom took it upon herself to add each new one to the original bracelet, filling every link, eventually attaching a second bracelet to hold all the charms, then a third. There were so many charms, all cluttered beside each other you couldn’t really tell what anything was. I would get SO MAD because they wouldn’t let me wear it! Nearly two decades of memories collected together. My mom and dad have both passed. That string of bracelets and charms hangs on the wall above a family portrait of the three of us.
In high school I was best friends with a girl. Let’s call her Puri. Well, I was starting to find myself, as kids do in high school, and flexing my wings of independence. I was trying new things and branching out. Well, Puri’s friendship started to feel confining and clingy because everything new I ventured into she tagged along. I’m sorry to say I resented her. Then one day she showed up at my locker with a gift. In a white box she’d brought me white sand and a few shells from a trip she’d taken to Florida. It was a cool gift. And I had not expected it. I fumbled for words. My already strained patience with her rubbed the awkwardness of receiving an unexpected gift and I did not accept it gracefully. My “thanks” was insincere, my hesitation awkward, and my glare, for I’m sure I glared, was cruel.
Soon after that our friendship ended. We went separate ways in school, joined different clubs.
The last year of high school I wrote a poem for her, apologizing for how I treated her, and I put it out there in the school paper. Though we never talked about it I feel that she saw it and forgave me.
That gift taught me a lot about myself, about how I handle receiving unexpected gifts, and about how to treat people.
Thank you for checking in on today’s Gift Stories.
Stay tuned for more to come…
Can’t wait? Read my original gift story here.
And access the column that inspired this idea here.
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