What I Always Needed

I have received “check-off” gifts—i.e. I checked you off my list.

I have received gifts I wanted enough to request.

I have received gifts I would have requested if I had known they existed—and would be bought.

And I have received “What I Always Needed” gifts—the best kind.

I once filled a small box with paper of various types, colors, and sizes. I added child safety scissors and wrapped the package. I presented it to my three-year-old nephew, who opened his present, sighed deeply, and declared, “What I always needed.” 

He cut for hours. My husband and I remembered for years. We still repeat Jamie’s words.

Which were the gifts “I Always Needed?” Those that reached a deep place in my heart.

One was an email from a long-distance, childhood friend. She included details about how much I meant to her, but her ending meant the most. “I always prayed you would be happy.” (See here)

Six were inscriptions in school yearbooks. They were unexpected, nourishing words from teachers and friends. Almost fifty years later, I still reread them.

Some were from you, Readers.

How were your gifts this year?  Any that “You Always Needed?”

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