Thursday, January 10, 2008

Another super thoughtful gift

I've been sharing that this seems to be the year of the most thoughtful gifts I've ever received. Well... it continues. Not because the gifts are necessarily extravagant or expense but because they were so perfectly picked out as things that would really be very personal and sentimental to me. The picture above is certainly no exception and may be one of the sweetest things I've ever received (although the necklace was pretty amazing too!). There is quite a story behind this one.

It starts with my Great Grandmother: She was the most amazing woman and I feel like as I grow older that I appreciate who she was and the mark she left on this world even more. She came from an extremely painful childhood but you would never know that unless someone told you. I always felt that her and I had a really extra special bond. It was not until her funeral several years ago that I learned that EVERYONE felt that way about her! I did not feel jilted by this but even now marvel in the idea that one person could love and care so much about each person that came in to her life that she could treat them and make them feel as if the person in front of her was the most important person in all of the world to her. That is amazing to me. It was not a fake thing she really loved people in this way, even people that others struggled to find something to love about them. It was not her love she was passing on to them but God's love and it was really powerful. She was someone you could just stand near and experience God's presence in her life. I can't imagine anyone that didn't believe in God ever meeting her and not being challenge by it. Not even because of her words but seriously just standing near her-- The presence of God in her life was very very thick unlike anything I've ever experienced being near anyone else. I've prayed over and over again in my life that God would create a life in me that would leave the kind of legacy that she left. For me it was not a legacy of her so much as a person as it was the presence of God so strongly in her life. My prayer is when I leave the world that I will not be so much remember because of Angela but because of the God in Angela's life. Okay, now you know why she is so precious to me but what does that have to do with the picture, right?

My Great Grandmother passed away about 5 years ago. She died peacefully in her sleep. I cried and cried when she died. Not because I wanted her back because I knew without any doubt where she was but because I would no longer get to hold her hands, sit near her, or hug her again on this side of heaven and that loss was heavy. After the funeral my Grandmother and family had to go through the task of going through and sorting her "things". My Grandma (who is also an amazing woman!) gave me a ceramic horse trinket from those things. It's the only thing I had that had once been hers. I found it a place of honor near our kitchen sink. May sound like a strange place of honor but one thing that really stuck with me was stories my Dad would tell me of being in her house and she would be doing mundane things like washing the dishes as she said things like "I love you my precious Jesus." Her church had nicknamed her Jesus's sweetheart and she was most certainly that. This story of her inspired me to want to praise God in even the things I don't like to do (and washing dishes totally qualifies) so this is how the ceramic horse found its place at the sink and reminded me each time that I was there to praise the God that made me and the savior that saved me. I treasured that little horse because of all it reminded me of. That is until Kyle and Johnny (who were then both toddlers) threw a ball in the house which of course made it's way straight to the horse and broke it. Jim jumped to the rescue with some superglue and replace the horse for me with all it's cracks but still there and still special to me. Then when I was very much pregnant with Luke I was doing something nearby and in the kitchen while Jim was cleaning down the counters. I had my back to him and heard a loud shattering sound and him take in a deep breathe. I knew what happened before I even turned around and when I did turn around there was the little horse shatter into way too many pieces to ever repair. Jim had moved it near the edge of the counter while he was cleaning and accidentally knocked it over. He looked just miserable knowing how much it meant to me. I was days away from delivering Luke, hormones were flying, and that horse did mean a lot to me so I just burst into tears and ran into our room for a big cry. I wish I could go back and reassure Jim that it was okay and it was just a thing. He felt so bad and my shower of tears didn't help that much.

Many months went by and I was visiting my Grandma when I shared with her how sad I was to not have anything. She assured me that she would find something else of my Great Grandma's and give it to me. Before my visit was over she gave me the award in the picture above. My Great Grandma had won it at a fair for having the most Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren out of everyone there! It had the writing of what the award was for but it did not have her name on it. I told Jim that one day I would love to get it engraved with her name. It's been hanging in our kitchen since then as a reminder of her. That is... it was there until recently when Jim snuck it out of the house and had her name engraved on it to give to me as a birthday present. He was not able to pick it up by my birthday so I just got it this week. I never saw it coming and I was so moved by such a thoughtful gift. Not only did he have it engraved but he also got the shadow box around it to protect and display it! He told me the most unbelievable stories of all he had to go through for over a month of scheming to get this to me. He's SO sneaky that it made me laugh. It's really a precious gift to me and part of me wants to know if my Great Grandma has any idea at all how much that award would come to mean to me after she was gone, and wondering if she would be pleased to know it now has her full name engraved on it and is being displayed and treasured. I know it's just a thing, but it's a thing attached to a lot of memories for me. The real gift and treasure was my Great Grandmother herself.


Beka said...

I love your posts, my friend! They continually remind me of God's goodness as well as letting me see into your heart which is pure gold!
Love ya,

bitsnsaddle88 said...

I miss grandma T so much... i know how you feel when you say that she made everyone feel special....Tell jim that the gift he thought he was giving to you...he really gave to a whole family...Im not sure you will even remember me... If you want to know who i am.. go to