It's that time of year folks, flying cupids (best handled with a Kentucky longrifle), Hallmark cards, and often expected expensive presents.
You could give my Mom a 15-inch scrap of decorative paper and she could gift wrap a Sikorsky in less than 10 minutes. I will carefully lay out the present, cut a swath of paper the size of North Dakota, and when I'm done, there will be a gap in the back held together by a big piece of scotch tape.
I'm not too keen on wasting a lot of money on paper and ribbon either. I had joked that all we had at the house was Christmas paper, and he suggested I could just draw some cupids on there to avoid spending money on new paper. I did one better and made my own paper online and printed it out on our copier.
Mine smell like something with lavender/sandalwood and perhaps orange, a restful scent, just toss in the bath water. By the time it was light enough to get a good photo, I'd already tried one out as I telework today, and didn't have to just do a quick shower. I almost hate to use the other ones up, they just make me smile to look at them.
Love is much more than what you buy for someone, it's the effort you put into making sure they are happy and cared for. I look at my Dad who has outlived two wives and two children and think of that every day.
I read somewhere that heartache is to a noble what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it. So true and words my Dad lived by. From Dad I have learned that whatever terrible things may happen to us, there is only one thing that allows them to permanently damage our core self, and that is continued belief in them. Dad's lived these beliefs.
He taught me forgiveness and compassion as being more important than possessions.
I was in class in school when Mom suddenly died, but 30 years later I watched him sit a vigil at his second wife's bedside that lasted days, sleeping only in naps in a chair, never letting go of her hand. He was simply there, a constant presence next to her slender, silent form, from which weariness and exertion had yet to depart, holding her, never doubting the actuality of his faith, guarding with sharp and unremitting alertness those minutes that he knows are fleeting.
I watched him as she left us. He touched the streak of white in her hair as lightning cleaved clear air and a gentle rain fell from cloudless skies, as if their moments together, as brief as they may have been, lingered there in a flash of light and tears, though breath itself had ceased.
I think of that as I pick up the phone to give my Dad another call. For he too will be waking up from his afternoon nap. I can picture him sitting in his recliner in the family room, Bible and coffee mug close at hand, his small frame illuminated by the early afternoon light, framed by ancient glass that bore light and witness to many a happy memory.
I will send photos of my husband's gift to the Walgreens near his house which his nurse will pick up. And tonight when I call him yet again, he will look at them laugh as if he was young again, knowing as I do, it's the care and the time we give one another that mean the most.
Still that Borepatch recommended manicure set would have been cool :-)