Last month my boss decided to start our staff meeting by having everyone tell the best gift they had ever received or had ever given – in honor of Packy the elephant’s upcoming 50th birthday celebration at the zoo.
I immediately thought of the kaleidoscope that Jeff had given to me not long after we started dating around 13 years ago now. It was made of green stained glass welded in the shape of a triangle. At the end was a small tube with glitter-like stuff in clear liquid. The beautiful colors came from flipping it around. I thought it was a nice gift until he explained that he was giving it to me because it symbolized how I made him feel. That’s when I think it became the best gift I have ever received.
For several years, I kept that kaleidoscope front and center on the bookshelf in my little den in two different houses, until one day a couple of years ago I was moving things around and it fell, shattering everywhere. And by the way, I don’t know what kind of liquid is in those things, but it makes a mess! Needless to say, I was pretty bummed that my special gift was no longer. That is, until my next birthday when I opened a small, long white box to find the most beautiful new kaleidoscope inside. Heck, it even had its own little stand! My new kaleidoscope sits on the dresser in our room, in a place of honor along with newborn pictures of Ian and Elena, and another beautiful gift from Jeff – a handcrafted wooden jewelry box that’s as much art as jewelry holder.