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  • Kelly Marks

A Gift

I wasn’t going to post today. It was going to be my gift to you, but then something happened…


December 23rd. The normal Christmas rush has been going on in earnest everywhere you look. For example, for days now while I have been running errands and doing some last-minute shopping, my mind has been whirling with a list of other things to do, such as gifts to wrap, areas of the house that still needed to be cleaned, and food that needed to be made before the family arrived. What time were they due again?


With my list a mile long, we woke up with no power, and it was only two days before Christmas. Power lines were lying all over the front and side of our yard. A neighbor's tree had fallen onto our property and taken down all of the lines. Paul was in a foul mood, and in the spirit of truth, I probably was too. Then Madi started not feeling well. We sent her to urgent care because we didn’t want anything escalating over the holidays.


The whole day kind of went downhill, but eventually the power was restored, Madi felt better, and the family arrived for pizza instead of a home cooked meal. Paul was still foul.


December 24th. Christmas Eve. Seriously cold temperatures, and we woke once again to no power and citywide outages with no end in sight. Madi wanted to find a Starbucks and get some coffee. I didn’t want to brave the cold and the traffic, but she guilted me into it. I was having some decidedly unChristmasy thoughts, but out we went.


After riding around for a while, we wound up in a Barnes & Noble for coffee, warmth, and a couple of sandwiches. I looked around. Most people were still in their PJs, no make up, and toboggans disguising their bed-head. And even though it was the last day of shopping, the day before Christmas, I was amazed at what people were NOT doing. Not shopping, not running around, not panicking. They were sitting, talking, and drinking coffee.


Ever since Madi got off the plane from her semester abroad, it has still been go go go: catching up on dental appointments, having banking and phone services reinstated, all the things you have to do when you change addresses.


But having no power stopped us in our tracks. She and I sat and talked. We talked about little stuff. We talked about big stuff: hopes, dreams, plans, love, life, family. We talked about it all. We laughed. We teared up a little maybe.


In our effort to find food and stay warm, we found more than just that; we even found more than the Christmas spirit; we found time to enjoy each other and really connect. That’s better than any gift wrapped up under the tree.





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