Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"My Girls"

My precious husband gave me a treasured gift on Valentine's day.  We typically don't exchange gifts on this particular holiday beyond a well chosen card.  Originally, I guess the tradition came from not being able to spare any money from the budget.  Eventually it became the realization that we normally do so well expressing our love on every other day that we didn't need to fall into the consumer trap of "spend".  I've always encouraged him to NEVER buy flowers on any holiday.  Why pay triple the price for something, EVER?  We SURE learned that lesson when making the mistake of "blindly" ordering a dozen pink roses to celebrate the birth of Adriana.  It just so happened to be that she was born ON Mother's Day and that bill shocked me WAY more than the hospital bill! 

This gift he gave me is priceless.  It's something that will quickly become one of my "treasures".  I'm VERY sentimental and though I know better than to get attached to physical items, I still do.  I am one of those that still cries at most every Hallmark commercial and have been known to have tears pouring down my face just shopping for cards. 

Unfortunately, when he gave me this gift, my reaction was FAR from what he expected.  To be honest, it wasn't the reaction I was expecting.   Instead of hugs and kisses, he was met with a much different response.  He was the recipient of outrage, heart break, and a breakdown of epic proportions.  Though I didn't throw myself down on the ground kicking and screaming like a 2 year old having been told "no" in a toy store, the result was the same.  It was embarrassing to say the least.  NOT my most glorious moment for sure!

The gift he gave was so completely out of the box.  It wasn't anything like a typical Valentine's Day gift.  When he came home with that Hallmark bag, I was pretty giddy with anticipation.  I mean, could he EVER go wrong with ANYTHING in Hallmark? 

The gift:

It is a beautiful gift.  The heart that gave it to me is even more treasured.  Unfortunately, neither one of was prepared for the outpouring of emotions it would bring.  I know that Kevin chose it for me with such love and pride. 

Loss.  It's an ugly 4 letter word.  It creates emotions that just can't be contained at times.  Seeing his gift and my brain expecting something "romantic" in the traditional sense, but instead it screamed "LOSS".  Grief.  It's an unspeakable journey, especially when it's deepened with so many other layers that we are having to deal with outside the normal. 

This particular Willow Tree is entitled "MY GIRLS:  Looking at you, I see wonder, joy, strength".  For anyone that has read my post specifically about Dad or anyone that has talked to me about his final hours, knows that my most treasured memory is how he held my sister's and my hands to his chest and kept saying "my girls" in his final hours.  Kevin saw this gift and KNEW he had to buy it so I would have a physical reminder of that beautiful moment.  Bless his heart, he REALLY did buy me an unbelievable treasure and I love him so much for the thoughtfulness.  I just SO wish I could turn back time and give him a different reaction.  I know he did NOT plan on it being a moment that brought me such pain.  Grief does that.  You just never know when "those" moments are going to come.

This beautiful depiction of a Dad looking down at his two daughters and the girls looking up at him is beautiful.   I searched to see what the artist had written or said about the making of the piece.  I wanted to know the background.  Though Kevin didn't know the story when he bought it beyond the fact that he knew it would mean so much to me, he couldn't have bought anything anymore PERFECT!  She said in her description of creating that piece that her goal was to show the DUALITY of the roles.  She wanted it to depict a sentiment that could be read from either perspective---father to daughters or daughters to father.  She wanted to show that the girls looked to him for his strength and stability, but yet wanted it to show how he looked to them as his great source of joy.  She wanted it to show "my Dad can do anything" attitude of the girls and to show the reassuring love he had to give. 

Thank you Kevin.  Thank you for such a treasure.  Thank you for something that I will forever hold close to my heart.  Thank you for such a beautiful physical reminder of what an amazing father I had.  Though initially it reminded me of all I had lost and brought about such raw more time goes on I will see the blessing of it more and more.  For now, it's an emptiness that can't be filled.  With time, my perspective will change and I will always have this reminder of not only that precious memory of his last loving gesture, but also of the entire life he gave me.  Thank you for showing me such love and thoughtfulness.  You are a TRUE treasure! 


Anonymous said...

Tracye you have the gift of expressing yourself in writing. Crying with you as I read this. Thinking of you this day and praying it brings many moments of His Joy and Peace to you. Janet Skaj

Tracye said...

Thank you, Janet.