The Unexpected Gift

I may have given the internet the impression that I like gifts. Maybe.

I may have made a joke or two about how everything has a price – especially my loyalty and affection. Perhaps.

I may have alluded a time or two to the fact that if you really like me you can shove your supportive ass emails and SEND ME PRESENTS. I may have even included a link to a Wish List.

But seriously y’all. I am full of crap. Internet persona aside, I’m not much of a gift receiver. It’s rare that someone asks me “what I want” and isn’t told “I don’t need anything” and “seriously, don’t worry about it.”

And truth be told, I don’t need anything. If there’s something I need I probably already have it. If it’s something I want – well, I guess I always figure I’ve gone this long without it – it’s really not a big deal.

Plus I have issues about money and spending it and blah blah blah and I think that transfers over into my desire to have people buy me stuff. Bottom line – it just never occurs to me to have anyone buy me anything or give me anything. It’s unnecessary, for the most part.

(Unless you are, oh, you know, MY FREAKING HUSBAND!!! and it’s like, oh, I don’t know, MY MOTHERFUCKING BIRTHDAY (or Valentine’s Day (or Anniversary))!! In which case, I am totally going to sulk for YEARS.)

ANYway, I tell you all that to tell you this:

The unexpected gifts I’ve gotten this year have absolutely overwhelmed me. Not in number, but rather in thought and holy crap emotion.

There is nothing so sweet as an unexpected gift. Whether it’s an e-card from a friend letting me know she was thinking about me and loves me, or a care package from home with homemade jewelry and shiny stickers. It might be something as silly as a highly inappropriate bracelet that wasn’t specifically requested – but sent anyway – or a beautiful office supply that let me know someone thought of me during the course of their day.

Or it may be an actual gift from an actual gift wish list that was created more on a whim than anything else. A gift that is waiting to be displayed in my front entry as a constant reminder – in more ways than one – that we are loved.

Last night I was making lists of all the things that need to be done before we leave for Iowa on Christmas Eve morning. This morning I was feeling the stress surge as I wondered how I would get it all done and shit! I still have to post! and the only thing I can think to post about is my fucking to do list and blah! blah! BLECH!

But in the car this morning, while I was all alone, I started thinking about all of the little things people have done for me over the past several months. I remembered the emails that I have saved in a “pick me up” folder. I thought about the ones from people who are admittedly uncomfortable with raw pain, who emailed me anyway to let me know they’d been there and that eventually it would all be OK.

I thought about the nights and weekends I’d spent on the phone, and the people on the other line who spent hours helping me hold on. It occurred to me that they had family and friends and worries of their own, and how they selflessly put those aside for me.

And I thought about the gifts. It isn’t the things so much that bring a tear to my eye or a smile to a face, but rather the message behind them that reminded me this morning how incredibly blessed I have been. How lucky I am.

Driving down I-4 this morning in Central Florida, I thought about all of you all around the country (and in some cases around the world) – and how amazing it is that you have thought of me. And not just thought… but gave. Of yourself, of your time, sometimes even of your money.

There are not words to tell you how grateful I am. I am overcome by how rare it is for someone to really feel heard, to feel loved, to feel like they matter. And I am absolutely humbled to have been given that, by all of you.

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