A few weeks ago, we sent out a request for stories of memorable gifts women had received at some point in their lives, and here are the sweet and sentimental responses from three of our Calvary ladies.
These days it seems everything has to be outdone by one another, but I recall a a simple gift that was very meaningful to me one year. I was a single parent for 12 years and in my heart it was hard to even go to family gatherings, pretending “everything’s fine”…and one of my uncles gave me a pound of hamburger! It was a heartfelt acknowledgement of his love and practicality. He spoke to my heart.
When I was in 4th grade my family joined the local 4-H club. My grandma gave me sewing lessons and helped me with my fair entry. For Christmas that year my aunt Lois gave me a sewing box with a variety of notions she knew would help me with my new-found hobby. I cherished the afternoons I could spend with my grandma sewing and savoring moments with her. Not only did she help me with 4-H projects, we went on to make my senior year prom dress, my wedding garter, baby blankets and gifts. When we moved into our house 10 years ago she gifted me with her first sewing machine – albeit from 1973 it purrs like a kitten! I love having the original receipt and warranty slip with her perfect cursive signature. My aunt and my grandma have both passed away but when I sit down at my sewing machine or open my sewing box to mend a pair of holey jeans – I think of two women who meant a great deal to me.
In 2012 and 2017 we suffered miscarriages. My dear friend who had also been through several miscarriages gifted me a blanket. She said after her first miscarriage someone from her church gave her a blanket. In the days following losing their baby she wrapped herself in the blanket and it felt like the arms of Jesus were wrapping around her. She prayed that the blanket she gave me would bring the same comfort she received. I pass on this same gift to women walking the often lonely path of miscarriage.
When I was about 14, my parents surprised me with a very exciting and unexpected Christmas gift. Something I never dreamed I would be able to have. My parents were not wealthy but encouraged my sister and me to take various music lessons. When I was a 5th grader, I started taking alto saxophone lessons at school. I loved my band teacher. After playing for a couple of years, my band teacher told my parents I should try the tenor saxophone because I had mastered the alto quite well and he thought I might enjoy the tenor even though it was heavier. He loaned me a beat up tenor from school, rusty, dented, but I loved the sound. By the time I was 14 my parents knew I would stick with it and I promised them I would through high school. (Stuck with it through college, too, actually). That Christmas I opened a very large, heavy package and I found a brand new tenor saxophone! I was SO excited and knew my parents must have sacrificed to afford that gift for me. The rest of my high school days I played that saxophone in concert band, marching band, pep band, and jazz band. My parents came to every concert. I still have that saxophone and my hope is that one of my grandchildren will want to play it someday.