Yesterday I spoke of “reminders.” I am talking about the reminders that help us see what is truly important, reminders that reveal what really matters.
I need these reminders. They are critical to my journey to live a Hands Free live.
Yet, I have discovered that in the times I am most resistant to the reminders is when I most need to embrace them.
But what about the reminder that comes so suddenly it takes your breath away? What about the reminder that is so powerful it should instead be referred to as a “wake up call?”
What about the kind of reminder that brings you down to your knees?
Those kind of reminders are gifts.
I received one recently.
This is my story…
I have never been much into consigning clothes. I much prefer to give away my daughters’ practically new hand-me-downs to people I know in some way.
I have a strange delight in lovingly packing each item while reminiscing about how my child looked when she wore it or something she said or did in that outfit. Every garment has a story. And I just couldn’t bear the fact that these precious pieces of material embedded with valued memories would go to just somebody somewhere that I did not know.
So each season I would pack up the clothes that did not fit and would send them to someone I knew with a baby girl. Some deliveries required a trip to the post office, some could be dropped off just a few doors down.
When you hand someone a box full of baby clothes that your child wore, you feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude from the recipient. It is almost like the person knows that part of what you hold dear is still in that box. Perhaps that is why people often send pictures of their baby or grandbaby wearing my daughters’ clothing. Those pictures make my heart happy. To this animal lover, it is like when I know a stray puppy or kitten has found a good home.
But I must confess. I haven’t had the heart to give away all the clothing they have outgrown.
Even in the height of my Non-Hands Free years when I wanted to send away every single thing in my home that added more clutter and “stuff” to my overscheduled life, I could not bear to give away certain, special items. So I kept them.
Now here we are. One child is seven-years-old and the other is four-years-old. My collection of “keepers” has become large.
It was time.
My dear friend was having a consignment sale at her home. The tagging procedure was simple. I could literally walk the items to her home. And I could use the money I earned from the sales to buy the girls’ Easter dresses.
It was time.
So late one night I hung all the “special” items, I placed the index card with the price and the size in the proper location on the garment. Things were going well. I was ready to do this. There were no tears. I was OK.
Then I got the last item at the bottom of the pile.
It was this little number.
Our oldest daughter's aunt and uncle had purchased this beautiful dress for her, and in it she was the most exquisite miniature fairy in Halloween history.
I recalled the morning we took her (our only child at the time) to the children’s Halloween party in our neighborhood. We lived in Florida then. It was a typical day in paradise with mild temperatures and a surplus of sunshine.
I can still see her angelic round face as she stood in the grass trying to clap the bubbles that magically appeared before her. In her eyes, I saw wonder, happiness, safety, and complete and utter contentment. It is one of my most favorite memories of all time.
I picked up the index card and wrote my seller number and size. But when it came to writing the price, my hand literally began to shake.
It was like putting a price on my favorite color in the rainbow. It’s that nameless, extraordinary color that comes to my head when I am so happy that I actually cry.
I couldn’t give away my favorite color in the rainbow…not for any price.
I set down my pen and instead held the dress next to my face.
I closed my eyes suddenly, unexpectedly, I was reminded.
I was reminded of her chubby, dimpled hands that delighted in grasping the magical floating circles that captivated her big brown eyes.
I was reminded how she fit perfectly on my hip that day and how everyone stopped and adored the little angel fairy.
I was reminded of her miniature ponytail that stuck up from the top of her auburn hair, which is now blonde.
I was reminded that she will never be this small again.
I was reminded that time is fleeting, yet some things don't change.
I am reminded that her face is still the closest thing to perfection that I know.
I am reminded that although her hands have grown, they still fit perfectly into mine.
I am reminded she still finds joy in bubbles, flowers, water, animals and all things created by God.
I am reminded that each day holds the opportunity to create a memory.
I am reminded that each day is an irreplaceable gift.
I look at this tiny blue dress and the reminder that it serves is painful; it is real; it brings me to my knees. I look at this blue dress and I know, I know.
Time is fleeting.
But I still have today. Thank God, I still have today.
And that, my friends, is a priceless gift.
Grasp it. Grasp it while you can.
Have you ever experienced an unexpected reminder? Did you allow it to sink in or did you push it away? Be open to the reminders in your life today…the reminders that reveal what is important, what really matters. Be reminded that time is fleeting, but you still have today. Then make use of today’s gift. Please share this message if you think someone else could use a reminder to grasp the gift that is today.
I have an 11 year old daughter and a 7 month old daughter. For a long time, I had thought I would never have any other children, so had gotten rid of all the baby stuff. Then, I met a man and got married and decided it was time for another. We recently moved in to a new, bigger house and got all of our stuff out of storage. Going through that storage unit, I found a huge box FULL of my oldest’s baby clothes. It was so much fun looking through those old clothes with her and it brought back some wonderful memories! It was an unexpected surprise!
David L Sturgeon says
It brought tears to my eyes.