Friday, January 23, 2009

The Perfect Gift

It was my second Christmas without him and I was in a better place, but I couldn't stop talking about him. It seemed that somehow I would fit him into every conversation, just to let people know that it still happened- that I still think of him. I would talk to perfect strangers about the twins I had and when they would ask a question I would always add, "Well, one died." I don't know why I did it, but for some reason I needed people to know. I wanted them to know.

I was shopping for my mother-in-law looking for the perfect something for her kitchen. I walked through the fine-dining section of the department store when something caught the corner of my eye. There was a small table, set with crystal stemware and fine china, and placed on delicate linens in the center of the table was a silver plated box. A gift. It was so small and it made me pause. I could feel my heart begin to race as I walked closer. Slowly, as if by taking my time God would hear my prayers and make the box just perfect before I reached it.

I took the box in my hands at it's edges, careful not to leave a fingerprint. I glanced at it and there staring back at me, was a reflection. A reflection of me. My mind began to spin, "A reflection of me. He was a reflection of me." And then my fingers gingerly touched the bow and lifted ever so gently... and it opened. It was a box and I knew it had found me. It was just the right size. A gift. A gift to me. A gift in which I could see my reflection. A gift where I could learn about myself. Just like another gift I had received a little over two years before. A gift to me, in which for a moment I saw a reflection of myself and ever since has taught me more and more with each passing day.
I placed the box on the counter.

"What a beautiful box." The saleswoman said.
"It's a gift for my son." I replied.

I paid for the box and had known I had grown in that moment. While I had found the perfect gift, I did not need to tell the saleswoman my life's story. I did not need to tell her that it was a gift for my son who had died. I did not need to tell her that it was the perfect place to hold his tiny ashes.
"Would you like another? They're on sale?"
"No thank you. This one is enough."
On that day I bought the only gift I ever would for my son, and received an even bigger gift from him.


  1. I remember the day you bought called me and told me I found the perfect gift!!!

  2. Thank you for writing this.

  3. This might sound weird, but this story made me happy. It's that sense of peace -- I can feel it.


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