No Greater Gift

Wednesday evening, two packages were delivered to my house.  I was heading out the door to run some errands with JB so I didn’t stop to open them.  One I expected–some hair care products I ordered online.  The other was a mystery.  All I knew was that it came from my mom in Kentucky.

Fast forward through another long day.  After finishing errands, visiting a friend, and fixing supper for JB and me, I finally got the opportunity to open the package from my mom.  It was a small box–probably the size of a paperback book–and wrapped in brown paper.  As I ripped through the paper I thought, “What the heck is Mom sending me?”  I hadn’t asked for anything and she hadn’t mentioned that I’d have a package coming–which is part of the reason I’m writing this.

Once I got through the paper, I saw a box for an assortment of greeting cards.  At that point, I got really confused.  I knew I hadn’t asked for greeting cards.  I had no clue why she’d just send me some out of the blue.  I almost called her right then to ask why she sent me a random box of greeting cards because it just didn’t make sense to me.

And then I opened the box.  A greeting card with the handwritten message “Enjoy this holiday season in your own home!  Love Ya, Mommy”  and a Christmas ornament with the inscription “There is no greater gift than the love of a daughter.”

She worked two jobs to make sure we had the things we needed and that I had the things I wanted.  Notice I didn’t say, “we” had the things “we” wanted, because I’m certain you wanted one job to be enough.  But it wasn’t, so you did what you had to. Who has a greater love?

I see girls every single day who didn’t go to college because they weren’t encouraged to read.  Girls who don’t have their own homes because they weren’t taught how to budget and save.  Girls who became mothers to children while they were children themselves because they weren’t taught to respect themselves, they weren’t told that any man worth having will wait for you.  And I know that, in a different place and under different circumstances, I could have been just like them.

Fortunately, I was blessed with a mother who wasn’t afraid to be a parent instead of a friend.  Who pushed me and encouraged me and punished me when I did things I shouldn’t have done.  Who might not understand the choices I make in my life but who does understand that they are my choices to make.

So this holiday season as you’re celebrating, take time to remind those that you love why you love them. Appreciate every gift, great and small. And give love greatly.

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Ornament from my mom (right) and and ornament of my dad

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