Simple Gifts

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Simple Gifts
Simple Gifts

I love that I was born on Valentine’s Day, a day of love. In the early weeks of February hearts of every size and shape remind us that someone special needs to know how much we love them. For little kids it’s a time to get down and sticky with paper and paste and make a card or gift for someone that’s really special and, for us older kids, it’s a day we can set aside to celebrate with the love we found years ago or just met.

As a child, Valentine’s Day was mostly celebrated at school. My mom and dad never exchanged cards or gifts, only spoken wishes. But one thing was constant; my dad always came home from work with a gift of Pangburn’s chocolates in a red heart-shaped box. And, though it was given to me for my birthday, I knew the candy was for my mom as well. We made the candy last as long as we could, and I never threw the box away until there was hope of another one.

Even after I was married my dad made sure, in his Texas fatherly way, that hubby would see to it that I had a red heart-shaped box of candy for my birthday from mom and dad. Assured the candy would be delivered as requested, my dad decided to add a five-dollar bill to my birthday card. This was truly a splurge on his part, as he was a man not prone to over doing anything.

For some twenty years the ritual continued, then one day I was asked if I would like ten rather than five dollars for my birthday. I declined the offer as five dollars was the perfect amount – enough to enjoy spending, but not too much to have to think about how I spent it. With the passing of my mother, I wondered if my dad would remember my birthday. Had she been the one to remind him of the date? I need not have worried, for he remained faithful with a card and the five dollars until his death at age 89. And so it had been for me for forty-nine Valentine Days.

As my fiftieth birthday drew near, all I could think about was a heart-shaped box of candy and a card with a five dollar bill that wouldn’t be part of my day. I didn’t need the candy or the money; I needed the love that always came with the simple gifts. I missed my parents and wondered how I would survive the day.

But love came as it always had. Knowing the ache in my heart, a red heart-shaped box of candy was waiting for me at breakfast and in my birthday card from Donald was a five-dollar bill and note that said, “Your dad would have wanted you to have this – especially this year.” I cried. And every year since those reminders of my parent’s love still come on my Valentine birthday, through the heart and hands of the man I love. It’s truly a special day.

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  • Simple Gifts

    I love that I was born on Valentine’s Day, a day of love. In the early weeks of February hearts of every size and shape remind us that someone special needs to know how much we love them. For little kids it’s a time to get down and sticky with paper and paste and make a card or gift for someone that’s really special and, for us older kids, it’s a day we can set aside to celebrate with the love we found years ago or just met.

    As a child, Valentine’s Day was mostly celebrated at school. My mom and dad never exchanged cards or gifts, only spoken wishes. But one thing was constant; my dad always came home from work with a gift of Pangburn’s chocolates in a red heart-shaped box. And, though it was given to me for my birthday, I knew the candy was for my mom as well. We made the candy last as long as we could, and I never threw the box away until there was hope of another one.

    Even after I was married my dad made sure, in his Texas fatherly way, that hubby would see to it that I had a red heart-shaped box of candy for my birthday from mom and dad. Assured the candy would be delivered as requested, my dad decided to add a five-dollar bill to my birthday card. This was truly a splurge on his part, as he was a man not prone to over doing anything.

    For some twenty years the ritual continued, then one day I was asked if I would like ten rather than five dollars for my birthday. I declined the offer as five dollars was the perfect amount – enough to enjoy spending, but not too much to have to think about how I spent it. With the passing of my mother, I wondered if my dad would remember my birthday. Had she been the one to remind him of the date? I need not have worried, for he remained faithful with a card and the five dollars until his death at age 89. And so it had been for me for forty-nine Valentine Days.

    As my fiftieth birthday drew near, all I could think about was a heart-shaped box of candy and a card with a five dollar bill that wouldn’t be part of my day. I didn’t need the candy or the money; I needed the love that always came with the simple gifts. I missed my parents and wondered how I would survive the day.

    But love came as it always had. Knowing the ache in my heart, a red heart-shaped box of candy was waiting for me at breakfast and in my birthday card from Donald was a five-dollar bill and note that said, “Your dad would have wanted you to have this – especially this year.” I cried. And every year since those reminders of my parent’s love still come on my Valentine birthday, through the heart and hands of the man I love. It’s truly a special day.

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