Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Most Difficult Gift I've Ever Bought

I always thought jeans were the hardest thing to shop for. I know better now.

Before my mom's shoulder surgery, she did about all she could to get ready for Christmas, knowing she was going to be without the use of her arm for awhile. She put up the Christmas tree, the stockings, all the other decorations, and bought many of her intended gifts.

She called me a couple of days before her surgery to discuss my kids' Christmas presents. She told me her budget then asked me if I thought she should send money for their bank accounts or if they would like/need presents. She knew they get pretty spoiled by their other grandparents and she wondered if they really needed more stuff or if money in the bank was better. She brought up a fair point, but as I thought about it, I told her that I bet Joci would like to open a gift from her Grandma Normandie. My mom agreed. She told me she didn't have time to shop, so she was going to send a check and would I buy a gift for Joci and put money in Noelle's account? She was in such a hurry to get it all taken care of. I told her not to rush, there was time. She could get the check to me after her surgery. She didn't need to stress herself out about it.

And then my mom died.

While I was in St. George, I kept wondering if I would come back home and find a letter and a check from her. I greedily rifled through my mail when I got home, looking for her familiar writing on an envelope. There was nothing. She had taken my advice and not rushed herself. Not that I wouldn't have cashed the check anyway. I just wanted a last token from her.

I decided I would carry out my mom's Christmas wishes anyway and buy a present for Joci from her. I had no idea what I would buy from her before her death, and I certainly didn't know after her death. I put off the task until the last minute - late afternoon Christmas Eve.

I found myself at Toys R Us, hoping to find the perfect last gift. I sniffed back tears as I wandered the aisles. Do I get something long-lasting and meaningful? Sentimental?Something Joci may not appreciate just yet? Or do I get a fun little gift that Joci will adore and play with right away and be grateful to her grandmother? Something that will soon be outgrown or forgotten?

I finally decided to throw my mom's budget out the window and do one of each - a fun gift and a timeless, sentimental gift. This decision gave me some direction, but still...what do I get for the last gift? It was errand that broke my heart.

But finally I found a set of gifts that I felt was perfect.

First there was this:

A Snoopy snow cone maker. I had the same one when I was a kid. It lasted forever and brought a lot of fun for years and years. The nostalgia of it was perfect. Plus it was on sale, 50% off. Mom *totally* would have approved.

And then this:

A Precious Moments angel figurine holding a candle. A representation of Joci's Angel Grandma lighting the way for her. She instantly knew how special this gift was and holds it with such reverence.

The gifts were perfect. Thanks, Mom, for helping me pick them out. We will treasure them for always.


Kirsten said...

I love the angel! That will be so special for her to have as she grows up.

Whitney said...

I feel for you Lara! I think it is especially hard to lose a loved one around the holidays. I think the gifts you picked are perfect. That angel will be something special for Joci to have for always.

Que and Brittany's Adoption Journey said...

They were both perfect. What a wonderful idea!


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