Yes, there are particular gifts – birthday, Christmas, Anniversary, Mother’s Day, etc. that my missing child, Laurie gave to me that bring special memories, as do the gifts from my other children, Cheri and Kevin.
As Mother’s Day approaches I am thankful for some intangible gifts from Laurie –
Mostly involving time . . .
Asking for time as a little one, putting her hands on each side of my face and making me look at her and listen…
Meeting in Fond du Lac at the library for Bible Study and prayer…then shopping at outlets
Pre-reading and reviewing many a story, article or column.
Teaching about herbs and teas and creating specific salves, teas and kitchen gifts for me.
Welcoming me for lunch at her worksite several times, and together planning gifts and treats for her co-workers.
Painstakingly knitting an extremely fine yarn shawl for one of the grandkid’s wedding.
Asking for and respecting her mom’s opinion for her college reports and independent American Indian studies.
Supporting my mission trips and keeping in contact with her dad while I was gone.
Talking almost all night each time her family came for an overnight, and when I visited her home, tucking me in on her sofa when we could no longer stay awake.
Encouraging me to attend her conference in Chicago so we could spend evening hours together.
Accompanying me to Michigan several times to visit my difficult mother and driving me across Michigan for several days to “deliver my Mom’s memorial service on wheels” to her remaining elderly family.
You get the picture. If Cheri and Kevin read this they will inevitably picture themselves supporting me in some way at each of these events and others personally spent with them. It is revealing that although I’ve received many lovely gifts of flowers, clothing, dishes, unique jewelry, and special books, all of which I treasure, but the most precious is still – time.
I’d love to hear how you make memories with your children. With your parents. With those who have been a special part of your life, and I leave you with a chuckle”
Years back Gloria Gaither wrote a book, Let’s Make a Memory, that influenced me, as a young mom, to treasure simple moments for the great memories they would be someday (and now are). The kids loved to watch for the first warm day they could go out without a coat or wear swimsuits in the rain. To end the daily begging, we created a chart by the thermometer that showed appropriate outerwear according to the temperature.
One day I heard the three of them scampering into the kitchen to check the temperature chart. They were all chatting, sharing their hopes and plans for the day. I knew I had gone too far with my Let’s Make a Memory focus when I heard Laurie warn her siblings, “Oh, no – it’s nice out, Mom’s going to want to make a memory – run!”