Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Precious Gift

I arrived at my father's house yesterday unsure of what to expect. Rocco had to work, so it was just me and Puppy Girl heading up to Dad's for the usual...except this year was anything but usual.
I said some prayers on the way up in the car, and I was saddened by how many people there were to pray for: I had two friends lose their Moms this year, and one lose their Dad. I knew for a fact that we were all still reeling from the pain; my heart went out to those I knew who were hurting too.
I made a few calls and sang a few carols. I took a deep breath and let the dog run out ahead of me as soon as I put the car in Park. I noticed that my father and brother had opted against the outside lights. Once I went in, I realized they put up the tree and the Nutcracker collection was displayed. It was, once again, the same but different.
There were just us four: Me, Dad, Bro, and StepMom's Mom...Grandma Ethel.
So we grabbed a drink and began opening gifts. It was fun to laugh and see---even if for just a moment---the sadness take a backseat. My father turned to me then and said, "Stell, you're not going to believe this."
He went on to tell me that a la Christmas Vacation, when he went into the attic this year to get down the Christmas stuff, he found a gift that my StepMom had forgotten to give me last year. It was all I could do to choke back my tears.
"Here. Open it." He handed me a big bag with my name on the tag.
I opened it up to find a Santa decoration. I smiled through tears. She knew how much I loved Christmas. There was a snowman, too, and the snowman was constructed of several different boxes. Each box held a little something I loved: a bag of trail mix; some cheddar popcorn. Little things that proved that she knew me.
After all, isn't that what we're all looking for? To be known? To have someone in our lives who knows us so very well?
The gift wasn't expensive, but it was precious. I will cherish it always.

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