Monday, December 20, 2004

Gifts from the Heart

In my lifetime thus far, I've come to realize and acknowledge that gifts from the heart mean so much.

A note, a poem, a photo, a joke, a child's handmade gift or card all hold special places for me.

They don't cost much to share, and the long-lasting value surpasses everything else.

I know that gifts like these have come with thought, with sentiment...and those are also the type of gifts I try to give.

I've given compliments, I've written poetry, I've composed music -- just because I could. I've smiled at people, I've volunteered my time and effort, just because. What satisfaction I get when the gift is welcomed because of the wonder it holds for some.

One of the best examples of this I can share is that many years ago someone close to me was in hospital with a very serious illness, and recovering from the follow-up surgery, which thank G-d, has helped give a gift of many more years of life...and still counting. As I visited daily, I met a wonderful elderly couple; the husband was suffering from Alzheimer's, and the wife was there to meet his daily needs. I talked with the wife regularly and with the husband when he had his moments of lucidity.

So impressed was I by the devotion and the love and the admiration evident between between these elderly people, I had to do what I know best: I wrote a poem for the couple. And the next opportunity I had, I left a copy of the poem at the hospital to be given to the wife.

Needless to say, the woman was moved to tears by my words and by the fact that I focused on her and her husband, in reality, strangers to me. She was more than thankful for this gift from the heart. And to that end...

A few weeks later, I received an envelope in the mail. I didn't recognize the return address in the corner, but I could see it was a personal piece of mail. When I opened the envelope, out slipped a card, and in that card was a scarf, a personalized scarf...with PEARL PEARL PEARL written everywhere. The note simply stated that with such a personalized poem I, too, deserved something personal.

I sometimes wear that scarf and remember Max and Milly... and the way I was able to touch their hearts, just as they touched mine.

(P.S. Oh, no...I think I'm starting to sound like John-Boy narrating offscreen about the Walton family.)