Today I was sewing and catching up on my past Milrose Club programs on my Ipod. Milrose Club is the Friday broadcast of Midday Connection on Moody Radio. There are the three regular program hosts, Anita, Melinda and producer Lori, and an invited guest. The guest brings a topic for conversation and they all discuss it. On the program I listened to today, John Lustra, Anita's son sat in the guest chair. He has just finished his sophomore year at the University of Illinois; he is majoring in history with an eye to being a prof. He got interested in The Civil War as a young boy and it is still his passion. This summer he is working at Harper's Ferry, a major Civil War site, giving tours with the National Park Service. His junior year will be spent at Gettysburg College where he will get more in depth study of The Civil War. He is a Christian and brought a nice youthful perspective to the discussion.
His question was: What is the best present you have been given? He gave an example from his own life of a meaningful gift his roommate gave him as he graduated and left college this year. I honestly can't remember what the item was but it was meaningful to him and to John and their whole dorm.
Anita, Melinda, and Lori each chimed in. Melinda said she is sentimental and likes to keep "artifacts" from her life. A pin her grandmother gave her, a figurine she got in Italy, etc.... Problem being these things end up looking a lot like clutter in her house. You can probably figure out where this is going.... Granny had a lot of mementos. At least one from every moment of her 97 year long life. And her house was cluttered; very! And we have had the task of decluttering it!
Anita keeps words. Cards people have sent with personal notes. Journals. She is an author.
Lori said she is not much on memorabilia. She collects truths people have spoken into her life.
When I first thought about "best gifts" I remembered the first car my Dad bought and gave me. A total surprise in the middle of summer....not my birthday....not Christmas....or Valentines.....probably because I was going to be a Senior in high school and finally he wouldn't have to drive me to school.
(There were no School buses in Washington, DC.) I was stunned. Nothing ever topped this material gift even when I got a brand new Mustang convertible my junior year of college.
Second thought was a letter/poem my daughter, Ashli, wrote me when she was old enough to type but not type well....on a typewriter. Lots of correction fluid used which only makes it more special. Lots of from her young heart to mine. As most of you remember, typing was much harder than word processing; but it really was what she said; and the effort she it took to write it. It is framed and hanging where I see it often. Like Anita, words are meaningful to me.
I realized too I am becoming a Melinda/Granny. Wanting to hold on to things that remind me of people that are special to me.
I am also a bit of Anita. I have a drawer in my nightstand with sweet notes, drawings, letters, etc.... my students, my children, my friends, and my family have written me through the years. I really rarely look at them. But when I get something special, I tuck it away in there.
So what was your best present ever?