Monday, December 21, 2009

My favorite gift

{W}rite of Passage

Every year for Christmas, I get a lot of "So, what do you want for Christmas?" And for many years, my answer has been nothing. As in, I have no special something that I've been waiting for somebody to buy for me. The things that I lust after are things that could just as easily be for my birthday as because it's Tuesday (I remember the year that I got a toaster for Christmas, it had 4 slots and I could toast BAGELS in it and I was just as excited about that as I was about the year that I got a diamond ring. I mean, I could toast BAGELS!)

I get much more excited about the receiving of gifts than I am the gift itself. But I love to GIVE gifts more. I like to think I'm good at it. Nothing makes me happier than finding something that I think would be perfect for someone. Especially when it is, and even though they hadn't thought of it, they open it and love it. And sorry, I give you a gift, I give you a gift. You don't get a gift receipt, and I very rarely give gift cards - unless I really have no idea what to get you OR you specifically ask for one.

In 2006, I don't know what wild hair I had up my ass, but I decided that I was going to get all crafty with it and MAKE most of my gifts. And I did. With varying degrees of success. I made my (much) younger cousin a recipe box, complete with recipes for random things that I thought she'd like to try(loved the recipe, hated the box). I made my father some vegan cookies or some shit (which he loved). This was also the year I decided to get brave and crochet a blanket or two to give away as gifts. My girl friend had been teaching me to crochet and had given me a fairly simple pattern that even I could follow using 3 different yarns to make a pretty thick blanket.

I remember thinking how my MIL, who was going through chemo at the time, was always SO COLD, and this blanket was going to be awesome because she'd have something that would be all hers and she's would finally stop complaining about being so freaking cold all the damn time. I went to Michael's where I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to decide what color yarn I was going to use, because OMG have you BEEN to Michael's yarn section? The colors, the types...I'm indecisive at the best of times, and I wanted to make something that she would like. So I called up The Man, asked for her favorite colors and settled on blue, green and white.

When I gave it to her, I said that I didn't want to hear she was freezing ever again, and tossed it in her lap. I think she was completely shocked that I had managed to finish such a large project. The only thing she'd ever seen me make was a scarf (which I still wear, thankyouverymuch). But I will say that I think she liked it. If she didn't, she hid it well. It was with her often, like her pink bandana. One was to cover her head and the other was to cover her legs. In my head, I thought that I'd see her with that blanket for a long time to come.

I didn't though. She passed away that next October. The day before her funeral, her grand-daughters (my brat included) approached my father-in-law and told him that at the viewing, something was missing. Gran-gran was always cold and she was missing her blanket - they wanted to include it. My FIL asked ME to include it.

I never would have thought the last time I'd see the gift I gave to her was as I placed it in her casket. I don't think I have enough words to describe how I felt, or what it meant to be asked to do this. I do know that of all the gifts I have ever given anyone, or ever gotten, this gift will always be remembered.

I'll apologize now for my somewhat sad story. I had no idea this is what I was going to write until I started writing it. But there you go. My most remembered gift isn't even a gift that I got, it was a gift I gave.


Gilsner said...

Oh Lynette, that's beautiful! Don't apologize about it being sad... instead thank you for sharing such a personal moment. Seriously, girl, you brought tears to my eyes. Lovely, you are!

Post-Modern Jen said...

This is a very sad but sweet story. Thanks for sharing it with us. I'm posting my story tomorrow.

Kristin said...

Now that's a gift story.

Thank you for sharing it!

Dawn @ just me said...

No apology needed, it was a beautiful and touching story. It sparked a memory of my own, actually, and I may have to write it out now.

Thank you for sharing :)

Mrs. Dreamer said...

Not sad - absolutely lovely! That's something you'll always have :)

And I understand about the pants thing. Husbands are sneaky, no?

Merry Christmas!

Amber Page Writes said...

That's beautiful. It brought a tear to my eye...but the best kind of tear. Merry Christmas!

Steph. said...

Wow. A very sad, but fitting post. I really feel certain that your blanket was really special to her too. Thanks for sharing such a personal but beautiful story...

Mom2Jazz said...

OMG...why do you want to make me cry at my desk? Love you mama!!!

Anonymous said...

It was wonderful of you to share!