I am grateful for all of my gifts. Regardless of the specific gift, how much money was spent on it, or any other variables, gifts are a blessing to me. Gifts are my love language. I received some very thoughtful gifts this Christmas, and I am grateful for each one. There is one, however, given to me by my ten-year-old granddaughter, Virginia, that touched my heart in such a meaningful way that her sisters and the rest of the family said everything else paled in comparison.
Our family has a tradition of opening one gift on Christmas Eve. Virginia insisted that I open hers. When she gave it to me, her mom, daughter Tara, said, “You will need some tissues, Mom.” Indeed, I did.
When I opened Virginia’s gift, the first thing in the box was an envelope with the words, “Open First!” Inside the envelope was a note written in Virginia’s handwriting, with a sentiment that alone would have been enough. But there was more to come. The note was on top of a blanket Virginia created, a blanket of memories. Tara said the entire gift, the note, and the blanket, were Virginia’s idea, and she did all of the work on it herself. A gift that was truly from her heart.
Virginia’s gift is evidence that she has memories in her heart of our family’s times together. Times cooking in our kitchen in Raleigh with our Aga. Times skiing in Steamboat. Times in Hilton Head. Times in St. Marys, at soccer games and dance recitals. Times working on puzzles and playing board games. Times just being together.
Grandchildren are truly a gift from God, a gift of love beyond measure. When I think of all of the things I own, of all of the stuff that I have been going through preparing for our upcoming move, I am reminded of how transitory our lives are. How so much of our tangible stuff is unnecessary. Yet we hang onto it. Or at least, I do.
We have all heard the question, “If there was a disaster, such as a fire, in your home, what things would you try to save?” Most people reply that they would try to save photos. Photos of a time that cannot be recaptured. Virginia’s gift of her note and the memories blanket take photos to a different level.
I have been grieving leaving our home in Raleigh, moving into a home without some of what I have come to love. A home without an Aga. A home with less space. A home with less beauty. A home without the memories we are leaving behind.
Virginia’s gift reminds me that wherever we go, our memories remain in our hearts. The wisdom of a ten-year-old, teaching her seventy-one-year-old grandmother the value of memories in our hearts.