The best gift

…I ever got just broke. Crap.

The best gift I ever gave, I will never know if he used it.

Receiving or giving, if you are on either end of the experience, you know the sentimentality and immensity of this exchange. Yup, admittedly this falls into the category of “let’s put a tad too much pressure on self”, but I enjoy it. I love giving a well thought out and well loved gift. And yes, I do love receiving such gifts too.

The Best Gift Received: The best gift came from Bon Jovi. No kidding. It was my 16th Christmas, and my neighbor and I had this crazy eclectic love for records. At the moment when Ipods were nascently upon us, we loved retro. E. dreamt of lining her room with super cool albums and I loved the scratchy authentic sound of each  one. That summer, we hunted many a flea market for the best $1 deals. Fifty cents only, we decided, for the painfully ubiquitous John Cougar Mellencamps.

Christmas morning came. And Jon delivered! It had been years since I had a seen a gift in familiar handwriting and yet not from a family member. When I opened up this huge gift,especially delivered that morning after all others were opened, I was floored. It was so cool.

Today that record player broke. Try as I may, I am not sure I will find someone who can fix it’s aliment.  And it’s ok, because  it has been worn out with love. Well used and forever remembered in such a great story

The Best Gift Given: In similar fashion I attended a graduation party for a friend a few years back. We grew up in the same small town a few years apart, never attending school together until college. We’d share long car rides to school, spend time in similar clubs, and enjoy the good life. Once invited, I again wanted to give a good gift.

Running late one day , I stopped into an office supply store for work. And I spotted it. A very handsome journal. PERFECT I thought.

In the card I wrote:

John,

Congratulations on your graduation!

As I recall, people will offer you so much advice at this point of your life. Some of it good, some of it great, and some downright terrible.

The only thing I want to encourage today is for you to find your own way.

Choose your own path, and write your own journey.

Your fan,

Kate

Did he ever use it? Did he wear it down, love it so much that it’s binding broke?

I’ll never know. But I never need to. Because the memory of that gift has been well loved and thought of often. Each day, I write those same sentiments between the lines of my life.

Be it a busted device from decades ago or an old inscription on a standard graduation card, both  still give so much. That’s the quintessential ‘best gift’.

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