The most thoughtful Christmas present I have ever received.

I’m sure some of you have contenders, but I think it will be difficult to beat the one I received last year. It was given to me by a friend of mine after a very difficult year.

The year had begun with young Daniel coming home from hospital just before Christmas. He had been diagnosed with leukemia aged twelve years. On St Stephens Day he asked to have his hair shaved off as it was shedding due to his leukemia. It never again grew back.

During the awful year that followed there were huge lows and a couple of small highs. I was in contact on a daily basis with Daniels mom. Looking back it would appear that we shared more bad news than good, as we spoke or texted each other. I was a person who preferred to cry alone, but so regular were my tears that my family got used to seeing my tear streaked face preparing meals, or sitting blogging.

I tried to function normally but phone calls would come out of the blue, slapping me back to reality. Dan was not responding, Dan had an infection, Dan was in dreadful pain, Dan was going on a ventilator.

During this time I had friends who did not know young Daniel. Yet they stood beside me, asking about Daniel, and checking I was okay. They gave me strength.

I also had a friend outside our group. A quieter friend who doesn’t drink and is not the loudest in a gathering. She has her own strong opinions, but keeps them to herself. She never follows the leader, but quietly takes her own place, and is greatly respected for it. She always remembers special occasions, and has a talent for sending a thoughtful text, at just the right moment. Someone who always has your corner. Someone I greatly value.

A few weeks before Christmas last year Daniel lost his hard fought fight. By Christmas we were all battle weary and feeling so sad. I met my ‘quieter’ friend just before Christmas, and unexpectedly she gave me a present and a card.

I took it home and on Christmas Day last year I opened it. Inside was a box labelled ‘Flower grenade’. I opened the card in which my friend explained what they were. Inside each grenade she explained, were wild flower seeds. small__5864101833Knowing I regularly went for a walk with Daniels mom up quiet country lanes, she suggested that I open the box and take the three grenades with me. Then where ever I choose I could throw them, with every ounce of anger in my soul. Where they landed they would ‘explode’ and the wild flower seeds would scatter and grow. Then, in time, as we would pass that spot we would see those wild flowers growing, and we could remember Daniel. He too would be part of our walk.

Her gift took my breath away. Last year I decided not to ‘deploy’ them but I think this year, come March/April it will be the perfect time for his Mom, Aunt and I to throw them, and I look forward to seeing them grow. A wonderful way of turning our anger and sadness into something positive. Come the Summer, hopefully we will have a place on our walk where Daniel will greet us, and where I will remember the most thoughtful Christmas present I ever received.

Thank you Buddy. I have tried to tell you how much your gift meant to me, maybe this says it better.

photo credit: Thompson Rivers via photopin cc
photo credit: Jeremy Wilburn via photopin cc

32 thoughts on “The most thoughtful Christmas present I have ever received.

    1. Thanks Don. Yes this friend definitely ‘gets it’. She made a world of difference to me that year, and has continued to do so.
      All is very well in my world. I am loving the new twist in your posts as you write about life policing the streets. It’s especially relevant, as the US police are very much on our news these days.
      Stay safe. I hope you and your ever suffering wife and kids had a good Christmas. I’m sure you enjoyed a few buds or maybe something stronger. Here in Ireland Christmas is two weeks long, you’d really fit in.
      Take care.

    1. I look forward to it too. I am glad I waited this long. I think we will appreciate them all the more this year. Hope you had a good holiday season.

    1. Thanks. I don’t think she reads my blog, and I think if I told her she’d be mortified. Maybe some day. I have always found it difficult to express just how much her gift meant to me, so at least I’ve written about it here, you never know she may find it one day.

    1. Yes it will be lovely to see them, and we can add to them yearly if needs be. She is an amazing person, and I’m very lucky to have her as a friend.

      1. I will do that! Maybe the edge of my property line, or along the road on the opposite side of our place…who knows. Her gift to you has spread all the way to indiana in the states. Pretty darn cool, huh?! xx

        1. I love it Deb. I may even tell her, but that would mean admitting I wrote about her! Send me a photo in the summer and I will do the same to you.

        2. I will do that!! I also understand you not wanting to tell her you wrote about her. I am losing my ambiguity with my blog. I fear some other members of my family will track me down and read it! They get especially curious when I slip and say “feck”! 😀😀😀 By the way, did you find that phone?

        3. No I’m afraid the miracle of Christmas was busy doing other things. A great friend of mine found an old iphone she thought she had lost and was looking to sell it for buttons so it all worked out very timely for me.
          I love that you have begun to say ‘Feck’. 🙂

  1. Reblogged this on Top of JC's Mind and commented:
    Such a beautiful post on love, loss, friendship, and remembrance by Tric, who is a wonderful blogger from Ireland, that I felt I had to share it. I hope that all of us have at least one similarly thoughtful and compassionate friend in our lives.

    1. Thanks so much for the reblog Joanne. I hope someone else is inspired to send such a thoughtful gift. Good friendships are really special. I am very lucky in that department. Again thank you. I really appreciate it and am glad you liked it.

  2. this is the most wonderful gift, tric. what a beautiful and thoughtful gesture. it made me cry to read this, but happy to know you will be spreading new life in his honor, and a beauty that others can share, who never knew him, but will think how lovely the flowers are. and they are all him.

    1. Thanks Beth. You’re right, this gift goes way beyond the grenades. It’s the flowers that will grow, and the symbolism associated with them. As well as having a place where we can remember Daniel on our walk, and others can smile and wonder how they grew there.

    1. Christmas is difficult when you are missing people, but Daniels mum and dad are amazing, thanks Olivia.
      I hope the new year is good to you all.

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