Gift Usage

 
Posted By Jesse
Gift-giving is not one of my biggest strengths. Lisa was an amazing gift-giver but I think it’s because it gave her an excuse for more shopping. But even beyond picking things out, she had that sort of mind that was always thinking about the next birthday or Christmas coming up. Typically by the time Christmas shopping season came around, she was already done, having kept a watchful eye out for presents while on trips and vacations. I’m more of the “how late are you open on Christmas Eve?” kind of guy.
 
The other thing Lisa and Danny are both good at is establishing “themes” for birthdays and Christmas for the kids: they let you know what the big thing is going to be and it helps you pick a relevant accessory. Plus, if the kid is already excited about said big ticket item, they’re that much more likely to be excited about every related gift. It’s a win-win. When DJ got her cell phone, I got her a case. When Michelle got a big art easel, I gave her cool crayons and other supplies.

the picture belies the excitement of first piercing

This year one of Stephanie’s Christmas themes was EARRINGS! She got her ears pierced just before Christmas and must have gotten 30 pair of them in December to get her collection started. I joined in the theme: I got her an earring stand and a little wooden box with a design on it to hold loose ones. I was pleased with the purchase.

But not as pleased as I was a few weeks later when I first noticed that she actually uses them! Typically I’m happy if my gift gets picked up after the wrapping comes off; seeing it put to practical use is a whole new ball game.
 
Being thoughtful and sweet is something Stephanie comes by naturally, but I have learned that putting presents to use is a specific skill that she has inherited from Danny’s mother. From what I have been told she has an extra gene that allows her to mentally label every sweater or serving tray or electronic device that she ever received as a present with the name of the giver. Then, if that person is visiting, she will being wearing or using the gift. Not only that, she does it naturally, never seeming like she’s planned it this way, so it really does seems as if you have always given her the perfect gift.
 
Michelle has been learning in cotillion about the proper way to receive a compliment. Stephanie and her grandmother could teach classes on the best way to receive a gift, a way that makes the giver feel good. It’s a gift they have.

A Gift For Us

Posted by Danny

Today would have been Lisa’s 41st birthday.  I’m on a cruise – I just can’t face these days at home.

But I think that she has given me a gift on this, her birthday.

On February 14, 2010, Lisa wrote me a Valentine’s Day card.  It was ten days before she died. 

For some reason, I did not open it that night.  She was sick and I just never got around to it.  In fact, I didn’t decide to open it until the day after her funeral.

When I sat in my chair in the den and opened the red envelope, I was scared that I was going to be disappointed.  That perhaps she would have just signed her name.

I was not. 

It wasn’t a long card, but it was the most beautiful, selfless thing I’ve ever read.

I have written that I have very little guilt associated with Lisa’s death.  I think I did all that I could – and perhaps I have that clear conscience because she wrote that in this card. 

It was a message from the one I loved who told me not to worry, not to feel responsibility for the outcome of her disease – that I had done all that I could do.

It was a  get out of jail card from the only person who could issue such freedom. 

Although I was totally unprepared for Lisa’s death, my wife knew she was going to die and wasn’t about to let that keep the rest of us from living.  Instead of resentment toward those who were able to stay behind, she showered them with love and offered us an invitation to move forward without her. 

She gave us the gift of a clear conscience; she gave us the gift of a guilt free future.

Happy Birthday Baby.  And thank you.

  • Tanner Tweets

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 11,940 other followers
  • Past Posts

  • Contact Us