The purpose of a gift. Is it to check it off of our list? Is it to give something the other person wants? Is it to give something you want the receiver to receive? Is the value of it in the thought? Or the amount spent? Or the time it took to get the perfect gift?
So much to consider in the giving of a gift.
There is no material gift I have ever received, no matter the amount spent or the size of it or the time put in to it, that I value more than what people have given me in words.
Words, I remember.
They have a different value to me.
And they last, eternally.
My guitar teacher: “you can do this” when I thought for decades I couldn’t. I can make music. Instilling belief and ability. Pretty amazing.
My friend Maggie: “You are the most brilliant, creative person I know. You make my heart happy and my world shine just by being around you! You turn a crappy day into a funny joke. You love me for me and that is why you are considered my greatest friend!” For real. Who can hear something like this and not know the value of friendship and life.
My brother: “you are so creative” and “I love you”. Just from last night. And I will remember that forever. It will never go out of date. It will never break. It will never wear out.
My Great Child: “Mamo I love you much!” The first time she said it and every time since, and all of the little voices that have echoed her in their own beautiful versions: “Mumo I lo-o-ove you” and “Eh..ah…ah..ub ewe”. What will the next little one sound like? I am so excited to hear it.
My Child: “Mom, you are such a dork” followed by a laugh. And every day “I love you”. This can be attributed to both of my children. Because they both say it. And it makes me feel so incredible to hear their laughs when I try to lighten their worlds with laughter or help.
My Mom: “Colleen you are a beautiful human being” and “I love you”. You would think being my mom she “has” to say that. But she doesn’t. She said it to me to make sure I know she loves who I am. And that means the world to me.
My Sister (either one): “You are awesome” and “You are the best sister ever” and “I wish I was just like you” and “I love your make-up skills and fashion sense” and “We all know you are the favorite”. These words have been compiled out of the millions, if not billions, of words between us in our life times. Technically they may not be in a correct order. Regardless, the words have been spoken at some point or another. And the laughs that have been shared with the words make them quite musical to me. And I know that the words we share are played in the sound tracks of their worlds. Though, maybe in a different order.
My Dad: “You are my ace” and “I’m very proud of you” and “I know you are always the responsible one”. One of these phrases, I sat with him in a booth, across from him. With a very specially made ‘cheese plate’ at Dusie’s Bar. One of these comments was said standing at the counter in his little house. One of these phrases was repeated often. And I carry them in my heart as if they were gold in my pocket.
My Husband: “You are my favorite” to which I respond “favorite what?” To which he replies “favorite everything”. And the value of my life is carried in his heart.
The words we give to one another in love and kindness and support are incorporated in to our emotions. Our values. Our storage. How easy is it to sit in a quiet and reflective moment and laugh at something said between friends. Cry at something said by someone you have lost, and then smile at the same time, because it is still there and you have it forever. How easy is it to become frustrated at learning something new, or finishing something difficult, and be bolstered by remembering someone saying “I believe in you” or “you never give up”.
Thank you, word givers in my life.
I value the gifts you have given me.