Priceless

Yesterday was my birthday. Yup, I’m 53 now. Kind of crazy when I think about it. Time is flying by.

My Mom hosted a birthday party for me last night so I got to see my eldest brother and his family – including his son and his grandchildren. It’s been a visit full of memories and reminiscing. And what are birthday’s without gifts? I need nothing. Seriously, I don’t want a thing. But it seemed there were other plans.

My entire childhood I used to sit on the toilet lid and watch my Mom put her hair up. My Mother’s hair has always been long – she promised my Dad she would never cut it short. But I never remember one day, in all that time, that she wore it long.

Mom’s Tobacco Can

Every morning she pinned it up, back ratting it and then spraying it so that a Caribbean hurricane couldn’t budge one hair out of place. And she always kept her bobby pins in an old pipe tobacco can from my Dad’s pipe smoking days in the 1960’s.

I saw this can last week when she sent me into her bathroom to fetch something for her. Since I’m struggling with naming anything I want when all the contents of my childhood home are liquidated, I told her ‘I want that old tobacco can’. Surprise! Upon opening my birthday presents, it seemed she had cleaned it out for the first time in more than 50 years and it was wrapped up for my Birthday. I was touched beyond words.

Then I got the last piece from the dinner wear set we ate on when I was small. Sort of a Jetson’s meets the Space Race kind of deal. Seems appropriate since it’s the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing and we were eating on these dishes watching it touchdown on our black and white t.v.. I might have to hand carry that on the plane.

And this painting of my Grandma Maggie’s house in Seattle. I remember seeing it in her house when I was a kid and now I’ll take it home and keep it safe. It will be well loved and I’ll smile when I pass it hanging on the wall.

But the best gift – sorry, Mom – was Jeff’s. He’s back in Valencia and has been home alone for a few weeks. He woke me up to his rendition of Happy Birthday. Learning something new isn’t easy and I’m touched beyond words.

Jeff’s Happy Birthday

So, my presents aren’t store bought and shiny this year. They don’t have name brands or logos promoted on Instagram. And there’s no app for any of them. But I must say they’re more precious to me than any others I’ve received, because all of them are irreplaceable. Just like the people who gave them to me.

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