I have been wracking my brain trying to remember back through the years. What gifts have really made an impression on me. Which ones do I keep in that special room in my heart. You know the one…you have one in your heart, too. It’s that room that holds those things that touch you to the core. Those things that stroke your soul. Those things that make you swell with love so big you think you’re gonna burst…or at least cry for a while. These, then, are the memories of some of those things.
Before I start, I need to say something. I know that some of the best gifts are not tangible. Some are gifts of time. Some are gifts of a much needed hug. Some are just a listening ear. I know that these gifts rate just as high as a gift that comes in a box, nestled in tissue and tied with a beautiful bow. But, just for today, I will talk about those given specifically as a gift , for the sake of this post.
Don and I married in 1972. One of the first gifts he gave me was a set of sheets. For our first Christmas together. A set of dark green sheets. A set of cheap dark green sheets…the kind that are rough on your legs and other delicate areas. A set of sheets. Let me just say this in the nicest way possible …. He will NEVER even THINK of giving me sheets again. Never. But, I digress…this is not about those gifts that were better left at the store.
We had Adam in 1975. He was the first grandchild, on both sides. He was also the first nephew for all our siblings. And, as such, was always the center of attention. Don’s sister, Beth, married Steve…and Steve was an artist. He never followed art as a profession, and I don’t know if he even still paints. But…he painted this treasure for Don and I.
This is of Adam’s old tennis shoes. I love this painting! I love what it stands for without speaking a word. A little boy who has worn all the good out of these shoes. He must have run and jumped and played. He must have had a great time in these shoes. Just like little boys should do. This became more dear to me because we had just found out that Adam had a particularly fast form of cancer. I didn’t know if he would live to wear out another pair of shoes or not. It was a hard time, but it was a time that taught us great lessons, as well as built within us a great faith. This picture reminds me that God is ALWAYS in control. And, He can give little boys the chance to wear out many, many shoes! Thanks, Steve! This painting is a treasure still!
Let me tell you a quick funny about Adam and his shoes. My sweet son loved clothes and shoes and always, ALWAYS wanted to look his best. Shirts and pants ironed…pleats just right. Very OCD about his clothes. He and his brothers all had some Converse Hi-tops when they were in style. They were cool and they were stylin’. But especially Adam since he was the oldest.
When he was in the 7th grade, he came to me one day and said, “Mom, I put my shoes (Converse Hi-Tops) on the ironing board. I need you to iron the tongue.” Have you ever heard such? I’m pretty sure I remember flying around the room and trying to keep my head from popping off. And, yes, that was smoke coming out of my ears! And, that VERY SAME DAY….. Adam learned to iron! Oh Yes! we had a lesson before school and another one after school. And, the job of ironing his pants and shirts and SHOES became his! And, you know what? I NEVER IRONED A SINGLE SHOE…N.E.V.E.R.! And he never again asked me to, either! I would still iron his dress clothes, but all the others were his. Funny thing is…it wasn’t long before he did ALL his ironing…he preferred HIS ironing over mine! Now THAT’S a boy who makes his Mama proud!
This is a plate that Mom gave me quite a few years ago. I love the colors and the glazes. She knew I would like it, because it was of a sunflower. And, she was right. Another one of those times when she though about what I would like…
She was so proud to give me this Lladro figurine. Her heart was always so tender toward Alex. It broke her heart that he suffered so much. She would bring him muffins and cookies, and his fav macaroni and cheese. She would make him real mashed potatoes and she would bring him cherries as soon as they came out in the grocery store. When we moved into The Creek House, she went out and bought him 2 sets of some fine sheets…they are so soft and feel divine. She took them and had them monogrammed. She knew Alex would appreciate this. She knew he was in bed most of the time and this would make it a little nicer. So, this little piece was just a reminder from her to me of how much she loved him.
And, on one of our trips…she, Joy, and I…she bought me this mirror. Some of my friends call me The Queen…and she thought it was a great mirror. I love it! It is one of my prized possessions.
Those are beautiful gifts. I love the painting of the tennis shoes. That is a beautiful plate from your mother, I love sunflowers. I love the mirror, really cute! I never heard of someone wanting the tongue ironed on shoes, that's a new one. I love Lladro, I don't have any but I always look at it in the stores. I have to say that it is perfect. As soon as I saw it I could see that it is so much Alex. Isn't that him with Finn?
It is funny how some gifts just stand out – both good and bad. I remember a very lounging robe my mother-in-law gave me from a very expensive store. I had no use for a lounging robe made of velvet and (un)lucky for me it didn't fit! Drat! And the store didn't have any others! Oh, no! I received a refund. At the time my husband was out of a job and we were counting pennies like crazy. My Christmas present that year bought a couple weeks of groceries. I have always looked upon it as a gift from God. My mother-in-law has excellent taste and I usually love everything from her, but I think God directed this gift.
Something is wrong with how I see this blog because the only picture I get is the bed with the green sheets. 🙁
What precious gifts! Each one of them.
I think one of my most precious gifts was a bouquet of red carnations delivered to my house when Dick and I were engaged. He worked at a children’s home in New York, I lived in PA. My family and I went to NY on my birthday weekend to visit him. Things just did not go well for us that weekend, and I felt very discouraged when we got back home.
A day later those red carnations came from him. They meant more than any “I’m sorry” ever could have. They lasted for weeks, and I kissed each one of them goodnight every single day! To this day I love red carnations even more than red roses!
Loved this post too Tonja! And you're so smart to write them down. Great memories for you…and your family.
Such special gifts! I love the painting of those tennis shoes!
. Tonja, you are the best at saying just the right things. I love all of the gifts (even the ugly green sheets – it seems like Don and Bro. Jerry have had a tough time over the years with gifts and other purchases). Nevertheless, you have i…nspired me to start a blog this year and I am working to get it online in a few days. I told Terry Eldridge a few days ago that I am having a more than usual difficult time packing away Christmas this year. You know how much I cherish each gift and so much more the person or group that gave it. Your mom and Joy have special places all over my house and I have moved from room to room admiring and reminiscing each and every moment. You are and always will be the QUEEN!!
Billy Joe Rich