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If we receive a gift of candy, it is soon consumed by those around us. You’re lucky to get one piece. If you receive fresh flowers, they soon wilt and are tossed in the garbage can. Other gifts break or get lost. The gift of love from the heart is much more durable and may last through the eternities. Even though candy is consumed, and flowers disappear on the garbage truck, the giver will be remembered for his or her thoughtfulness.
Now, Back in the Good Old Days!
When I was a kid, we could take Valentines to school and put them in a box at the front of the room. They were addressed to a certain student. I remember that when they were passed out on Valentine’s Day, that the most popular kids receive tons of Valentines while those of us who were not so popular, got three or four if we were lucky.
Each valentine had a little saying of on it. You know, roses are red violets are blue… If you are lucky you got one of those 8 x 11 Valentines that was very funny. It was probably as insulting as all get out, but that was the valentine that you passed around for everyone to see. You held a person that sent it to you and I regard, a good friend.
Such Valentines are usually not gifts of the heart. A gift of the heart is something that you give of yourself.
The Great Poet
I use to write poems to my wife on her birthday or on Mother’s Day. There I poured out my soul to my wife. I would still be writing them but she doesn’t understand such things anymore. Here is what I wrote one time:
John Taylor Jones
For Mother’s Day
Saturday, May 8, 1999
Adam said, Eve my dear,
You’ve eaten the forbidden fruit.
She looked at him and answered back,
Yes, I’m getting the boot.
He said to her, Eve my dear,
I like your skin and hair,
And I get a little tingle
When with those eyes you stare.
She said to him, I’ll miss you so
When Father kicks me out.
Now don’t you ever think of me;
Never give a pout.
He answered back with some regret,
I’ll dearly miss you too,
If I didn’t have a lot more ribs
I’m sure with you I’d go.
That’s right, she said,
You do have ribs a plenty more to spare,
But won’t you miss this little rib?
Won’t you miss my stare?
She stared at him, he looked away,
Then rubbed his perfect tummy,
You know, he said, I have a pain,
I’m really getting hungry.
She bid him come and sat him down,
And put his lunch before him.
He ate the fruit and felt real good,
“I’m going with you, honey!”
Some times you can just make something for another person. I have ready two landscapes of Alaska to send to my grandson and son who went to Alaska with me a year a go last August. They can hang on the wall and look at it for a long time, a lasting gift. I have given my son in Michigan several paintings to hang on his office walls so that his patients can look at them when they come to see him. He says his patients enjoy those painting, patients with serious conditions, sometimes life-threatening.
If we pick flowers from our gardens and take them to our neighbors, it’s true that the flowers will wilt. But our neighbors will never forget that we brought flowers. They are a gift of the heart because we went out of our way to bring joy into someone else’s life.
If you give someone a pendant or a ring, carefully chosen, it will be meaningful to them and they will wear it and remember that you gave it to them. Yes, even a purchased gift can be a gift from the heart.