April 28, 2011

the most priceless of birthday gifts.

I like to preserve things. Sustain them. This is why I'm a writer.
When something can be found on the page, it is not lost.

And so, when my parents gave me my birthday gift--two bound books filled with their memories from childhood, from early marriage, from my childhood--I was overwhelmed with gratitude. I still am. To have their personal histories on paper is priceless to me, absolutely invaluable--the gift of a lifetime. What more can any of us hope for than the stories of who and where we came from?

I've already read through both of the books (twice.) It amazes me that my parents are my best friends, and yet there's still so much I never knew about them. What a treat it's been to page through and hear little snippets of their lives.

I laughed at my mom's description of me as a child: "You LOVED to talk. You were never quiet. Eventually, I would have to say Laura, honey, my ears are tired, so let's just rest them for a while." 

And I cried at my dad's memory of me as a baby: "I remember how very small you were. My hand was bigger than you. Your fingers were so long and they hadn't filled out yet. I remember looking over at your mother feeding you in the rocking chair, Lake Michigan in the background."

Even their advice surprised me. Dad is famous for repeating "Be smart!" every time we leave the house. And Mom, she's usually close behind with a "Make good choices!" In the book, though, they ventured away from their usual lines. Dad wrote: Try to have a positive outlook every day and be grateful for what you have.

And Mom, she really knocked it out of the park: 
It is possible to have real friends, and you'll know them because you feel them.

Thank you, Mom and Dad. Love you both.

(Photo: Luxx)


Jasmin said... [Reply to comment]

oh this is so beautiful. what a special present that you'll treasure forever. x

vintch said... [Reply to comment]

oh gracious, that gift is priceless. the best gifts are ones that take time and show the thoughtfulness of who created them. your parents certainly love you, dear.

Lillian (Unstitched.) said... [Reply to comment]

That is such a thoughtful gift! It really is such a gift to be so close to your parents. I realize that more and more as I've grown up (and how many times I use the phrase, "Mom, you were RIGHT!"). But having that sort of relationship with your parents, especially at this turbulent time in our lives, to have that rock and support and advice is so amazing. I never thought I'd be able to tell my mom everything, but I have reached that point - she really is my best friend :)

What a treasure those books will be. Something to cherish and think about, especially when it happens to you one day too :)

Jennifer Rod said... [Reply to comment]

wow! what an amazing gift. holding back tears. loved your mom's advice, it's so true. congrats on receiving such treasure.

Miss A said... [Reply to comment]

Awww this is so sweet :) A special treasure!

becky said... [Reply to comment]

What a beautiful and unforgettable gift. Words are the most powerful thing and it is so wonderful when their power is foregrounded in such beautiful, heart-felt emotion. You've done their gift absolute justice here in recounting it---not just describing it, but allowing us a lovely insight into your response.

Oh, and if you ever ever get a chance, hop on over to my blog. It isn't terribly sophisticated or wise or anywhere near as beautiful as this treasure you have here---it's just a little collection of things I find or things I feel or things I think. It would be lovely to see you there. hummingbeewhopensthepaperback.blogspot.com

sherri lynn said... [Reply to comment]

Wow this is an amazing gift. What a wonderful treasure to have and look at. And it will be wonderful to share with your future children, too.

Rachael said... [Reply to comment]

That is the greatest gift ever!
That is so sweet. Great advice they gave you too! I guess we know where you got your knack for good advice yourself...

Ashley said... [Reply to comment]

this picture is AMAZING. Im a writer too... :) My husband has TONS of journals from every year of his life that his mom made his... so precious

DJ said... [Reply to comment]

What an amazing gift! Your parents are lucky to have a daughter that appreciates their thoughtfulness :)

Allison Marcia said... [Reply to comment]

That's amazing. What a beautiful gift that I'm sure you'll be able to hang on to and treasure for many years. How thoughtful of your parents. I lost my mom when I was 18 and there are so many thing I would like to learn about her. This gift is invaluable.

Lovely post.

Blogger said... [Reply to comment]

They are all stunning and just so beautiful! They don't make them like they used to!
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