Your heart on a chain...
Every year my Mom says that I'm the most difficult person to buy a Christmas gift for, and every year I’m surprised by the sentiment. She claims it’s because I tend to buy what I want, when I want it, which is sound enough reasoning. I, however, believe that I wear my heart on my sleeve pretty literally and if you’re paying attention, you know what will thrill me. That’s all it takes, really…paying attention. This year someone was doing just that, in spades.
On Christmas Eve I opened a small box, wrapped carefully and neatly, and discovered that my Mom had taken my Grandfather’s service identification, his dog tag, and had it creatively repaired and put on a bead-chain. My Father had given it to me months earlier, as a surprise gift, and then she, in turn, had pinched it in an effort to consult several people on how it might be fixed. BLAM…on Christmas Eve it came back home in a tiny little box with a green bow.
I have only one of the identification tags, the other rests on a chain around my brother’s neck. My portion of my Grandfather’s well-worn World War II service ID had been broken free from the other, perhaps by accident, perhaps when he was so seriously wounded in Italy, but either way, it seemed impossible to hang from a chain, and so sat lifeless on a dusty shelf of a proud grandson…no longer. Now it falls from his neck and will follow him wherever he chooses to go…perhaps one day in the footsteps of his Grandfather’s European and North African service campaigns? I’d certainly like the chance. It would be an emotional journey.
With a wide grin on my face as I opened the little box I thought to myself, you’ll never ever be able to say that I’m the most difficult person to find a gift for, Mom, but then again, there might never be another one that means this much. The gift giving could be over for the rest of my life and I’d be content with this one.