Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A gift I'll never forget...

It was December, 1988, when our daughter was in high school... the days of December passed quicky and she had no gifts to put under the tree.

Our kids always gave to each other, never anything expensive, but always a gift for each brother and sister.

First I hinted... but as December grew into December 20 and 21... I began to nag... I reminded her that there would be gifts for her from her brothers and she had nothing for them!

She just put me off, and Christmas Eve arrived...

At the dinner table, as we were finishing our meal, she stood and passed one of these papers, all hand printed and personalized... to each of us, grandparents included. She said... 'this year I have no extra money, so this is my gift for my family'...

As we opened it and read the words, she turned on her 'boom box' and began to sing a solo to the music of Amy Grant's 'Heirlooms'...

By the time she was one verse into it, tears were running down my face, and I have them again right now as I remember, and share this memory of the gift I'll never forget...

I was trying to press the issue and get her to go and buy something... anything, for her family. She knew she had no money, and she was WAY ahead of her mother, as she gave this beautiful gift from her heart...


----------------------------------------------------
Up in the attic,Down on my knees.
Lifetimes of boxes,Timeless to me.
Letters and photographs,Yellowed with years,
Some bringing laughter,Some bringing tears.
Time never changes,The memories, the faces
Of loved ones, who bring to me,
All that I come from, And all that I live for,
And all that I'm going to be.
My precious family
Is more than an heirloom to me.

Wisemen and shepherds, Down on their knees,
Bringing their treasures To lay at his feet.
Who was this wonder,Baby yet king?
Living and dying; He gave life to me.
Time never changes,The memory, the moment
His love first pierced through me,
Telling all that I came from, And all that I live for,
And all that I'm going to be.
My precious savior Is more than an heirloom to me.

My precious jesus Is more than an heirloom to me.

(Amy Grant, "Heirlooms")
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21 comments:

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Precious memory; I love this song and have sang it to my family on a few occasions. Make her sing it again the next time she's around.

peace~elaine

Farm Girl said...

That is so sweet Sonja, I think that is so special and a better gift than from a store.

Also thank you for you as ever sweet comment.
All glory goes to our Father.
Blessing today to you and yours.

myletterstoemily said...

what a lovely memory and story! i would love to
hear her voice and that song!

and guess what? your 5" trees put you in first
place. it doesn't matter if you have another tree.

merry Christmas!

Saleslady371 said...

So glad you shared this precious memory today. It made me smile.

Patrina's Pencil said...

Awww I love it when such soulful memories release the tears that take us back a few years. Life moves way too fast these days. Savor the moments again and again. A treasure for sure.

Patrina <")>><

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

I have tried to get to this post since you put it up and it wouldn't go there...but here I am at 2 am in the morning and it worked. I can't tell you how much that was God's timing for me to read this!
This sounds so much like my daughter...so I totally get the joy this brought...I too have been the mom to nudge.
What a wonderful treasure.
In 1988 I had two little boys ages 5, 3 and one on the way!

Felisol said...

Dear Sonja,
True life always surpasses fiction.
This story should be printed in every Christmas story Magazine.
How brave of you to reveal the earth bound housewife and mother in you, like it is in me and most of the mothers I know of.
We would all have reacted the same way.
And how brave a gift from the granddaughter of Armin Gesswein to bring forward the greatest gift of all; her love for Jesus Christ.
What a wonderful Christmas Eve that must have been.
BTW, I'd so love to see a picture of that wonderful girl; pouring her hear out for her family.
Your Felisol

deodate said...

Tears in 1988, tears in 2010...timeless love. One of my most precious gifts was from my daughter when she was just 4. She was shopping in one of those 'school' stores where the children can go in with a bit of money and buy things. She bought me a little turtle in a rocking chair. It was holding a newspaper that said, "World's Greatest Grandpa". I have it displayed in my dining room and she doesn't understand why that silly dollar turtle is still there. She had no idea what it said, she like it, wanted to give it to me and I love her and it.
Andie

Judy said...

Hi Sonja,

I teared up just reading this! Just wonderful. Often times we think that spending money and sometimes a lot of money is the only way to have Christmas. But sharing love just as your daughter did is priceless. It was something money couldn't buy.

Blessings,
Judy

Sandy said...

Very teary. This was just wonderful. She
knew the true meaning of giving.
Blessings,
Sandy

Rebecca said...

I'd kind of forgotten about that song....it's a GOOD one and so much sweeter as I envision the scene you described...

Another older song I enjoy is Special Delivery. Do you know that one? I often said I'd like it sung at my funeral - it contains the "story" of Christmas ("He came special delivery, wrapped up in love....") and ends with "When I'm called, I will go gladly; I will not grieve for the past. For I know where I'll be going...and I will be going to see Him at last...I'm going special delivery...." etc.)

Debbie said...

This made me tear up...what a WONDERFUL memory. I did that MANY times with all of my kids at one point or another...guess it's just the mom in us...but it couldn't have ended any better than this...I LOVE that song. = )

Shirley said...

Well, this was a tear-jerker! What a beautiful gift! I yearn to find such meaning this time of year.

Debbie said...

That is just wonderful. I had never heard of that song before and now, I want to youtube it.

Your daughter was wise WAY beyond her years. She not only gave that gift of music. She gave the gift of perspective. And obviously that treasure has lasted long past any one that "moths and rust would destroy and thieves would steal."

I loved this.

Sassy Granny ... said...

Isn't that the way of timeless, priceless gifts: they endure. No gift wrap. No costly investment. No wondering where to store them. They fit nicely into the heart, and there they remain for years on end.

Precious!

Beth E. said...

Gives from the heart are much more valuable than anything money can buy!

What a beautiful post...thanks for sharing your story!

Diana said...

Priceless indeed!!! Thanks for sharing such a special memory.

GWENDOLYN KAY said...

Dear Sonja,
That is so moving... brought tears to my eyes also. What a beautiful heart your daughter has.. no doubt from her mother. Yes , these are the gifts we truely cherish in our hearts , through the years.
Hugs and love to you~
Gwen

myletterstoemily said...

dear sonja,

i'm not sure how to break this news to you . . .
so i'm just going to blurt it out.

are you sitting down?

margaret has a smaller tree than yours.
sorry. better luck next time.

hee hee,
lea

Debbie said...

How much better than a store bought gift! I think despite what you may think, you taught her well Sonja. I'm sure she taught you a lesson along the way too.

Much love,
Debbie

LisaShaw said...

Oh Sonja, this is BEAUTIFUL!!!!