Twelve years ago, I received a very special birthday gift…and it quickly became one of my most prized and cherished possessions. It’s a heartfelt present filled with love that’s seen me through some grim and daunting times, from my then nine-year-old niece / goddaughter, J.
It’s a cardboard box with a fancy top, filled with iridescent confetti – the thoughtful and concerned benevolence of a compassionate and devoted young girl – a box of love for her grieving and sorrowful aunt / godmother. J knew how deeply I was hurting after we had just lost my beloved Mom on April 27th…and she knew how empty and hollow I felt and how much I dreaded my upcoming birthday (10 long and lonely days after Mom’s passing) and Mothers’ Day.
My Mom was so much more than that. She was my Mother, my very cool Mom, my best friend, my roommate, my confidant, my champion and my cheerleader. And though Mom and I had an amazing, unshakeable bond that not even death could break, I felt alone, an orphan of sorts with her passing.
What a smart, loving and intuitive girl my niece / goddaughter was (and still is). When J gave me the present, she said it was a box of love that I should open whenever I felt sad so that I would know I was loved and not alone. She had known just what I needed.
Many times over that next month, I removed the cover from that box and my fingers dove in to feel that love. And even when I began to need it less, which meant I was finding a way to begin the healing process, that special box of love became no less precious…nor will it ever. And though I hope we never experience a house fire, necessitating that I grab a few prized possessions before fleeing, that box of love will definitely be among them. It’s that special.