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Thursday, February 7, 2013
Give The Gift You Want To Keep
I had the day off, and was going to visit mom in her new nursing home. She is there for rehab after her forty-plus day hospitalization for bladder cancer. After dropping everyone off at school, I went to the local Mother's Market to buy some Organic Shredded Mexican Cheese that was on sale. It was a dollar less, and a good deal. Bean and cheese burritos, much to my delight, have replaced the sandwiches with turkey meat in their lunches and I was out of cheese.
As I walked in, my eye caught the most wonderful display for Valentine's Day! Where the starter plants usually are on the rack outside the door, were little red potted flowers with a heart on a stick. The pots were genuine terra cotta, over one hundred years old, and the plant inside was the most beautiful primrose with curly red petals. I wanted one for me!
Then I remembered, Mom in her depressing place. And nana in her other depressing place across town. All of us adore flowers and gardening. If it wasn't for them I wouldn't have appreciated that plant at all! So I took three.
Then I remembered the teachers. Valentine's Day is a big deal for them. I better get three extras for the teachers too.
I bought six. I drove straight to the school and hand-delivered them, much to the teacher's delight. Then I went home, put the cheese in the fridge, and got this funny feeling. Someone had done me a kindness when I was down, at my lowest and I never said 'thanks'.
I knew who this person was. They own a business. They are 'Ohana', related to someone I work with, as well as someone I directly know. I knew what I had to do. I typed out a letter, printed it out, and decided my primrose was going to her.
Have you ever given away something you liked? Really liked and wanted to keep forever? A funny thing happens: you get a warm glow in your chest, because now TWO people have joy from that one thing you wanted. They get the thing. And you get the joy of giving and knowing it was a gift from you, not just something you bought.
I had some contracts to sign and drop off across the street from her work. And both stops were on the way to mom's and nana's places. There was not much time, but I went. Someone was sweeping outside, in a waiter's uniform. I handed the pot and envelope to her, and said it was a thank you gift for the owner. She was surprised, and thought I should give it myself. But I had little time and had to go. Would she please deliver it?
It still feels nice, knowing the gift I gave is something I would have preferred to have in my garden for myself. Although my Ohana friend will never know the small sacrifice I made on her behalf, I will. And it is good for me to do this every now and then.
At a shoe drive for the Earthquake victims in Haiti, I gave a pair of Ferragamos. They pinched my feet but were like new--I could have sold them but instead I feel more rich having given them away.
Next time you are giving things away, whether to charity or to a good cause or to someone in need or a friend who is hurting or a friend who is celebrating...be sure to give something from the heart. Something that still means a lot to you.
You'll be glad you did.