This is a story I am not extremely proud of but I feel like by sharing , it will become a lesson for all. I do try to learn daily how to become more grateful, patient and forgiving.
A year or so before Jim moved into an assisted living facility my Dad took him shopping for a Christmas gift for me. I think this was the last item he picked out to give me. Christmas morning I opened up his gift and I am so ashamed to admit that I wasn’t really thrilled with what I saw. It was a soft throw. We must own 20 blankets already and I could only think of how we already had so many and I didn’t need another throw and it was something I would have to find space for. Our drawer and closet that houses such items are both overflowing.
Let me tell you something. I didn’t need to find a space in any storage area. That blanket is on my bed. That blanket travels with me. When Jim passed away, I slept under that blanket every night. I would wrap myself under the cover of its soft, tan material and imagine Jim holding me instead. I have cried and snuggled under that very blanket I was originally so disappointed with almost every day for the past year. Somehow, knowing Jim had picked it out makes me feel as if he is with me….it is almost as if he knew he would be leaving me, but he could give me this blanket to envelop myself in and feel his presence. I love that blanket. I feel him and think of him every time I touch or see it.
Sometimes, we just have to let life teach us lessons. Sometimes, we have to appreciate what we are given. Sometimes, it takes awhile to do so, but eventually we will if we are patient and we pay attention.
We never know when our “Last Christmas”, “Last Birthday”, “Last Thanksgiving”, “Last….” Will be. Even if our loved one is sick, we still don’t always know. And then we just can’t fathom the reality of not having their physical company once they are gone.
How I wish I could go back and know when I opened that gift what a treasure it would become. How I wish I would have been able to explain to Jim how it was the most perfect gift he could have given me. I like to think he knew. That he knows. That it was his plan all along. He taught me so much and he still continues to teach me after he is gone.