Giving and Receiving – Not All the Boxes Make it onto the Truck…..

On Wednesday, we will give away the last of the things that will not board the truck to be moved. It reminds me a bit of Toy Story and how not all the boxes of things makes it onto the truck. Some things have been harder to let go of than others. And, some things, we really just can’t let go of because  they were given to us. And, each person thought that we could or would use something that was so special to them. These things may not be as important in our lives, but each has a story to tell, and I’d like to think we will find a special spot in our next place for those things to rest on.

There are multiple quilts, many made by my children’s great-grandmother or the ladies who frequented her quilting shop. There are quilts for babies, quilts for kids, for grown ups and even wedding quilts.  There is crystal that she collected over the years as she entertained her husband’s colleagues. There are many things from my side of the family as well. My Mom’s yellow bowl that she would serve meals in when we were all little. There’s her mixer that she used to make cakes with….homemade cakes, beautiful cut out ones and even a merry go round cake for my little sister. There is a wooden doll bed and a rocking horse made by my kids’great grandfather and grandfather respectively. There is a blanket from India that was my grandmother’s. I’ve tried hard to not keep too many things as I don’t like clutter – a product of my Mom, for sure. She didn’t like clutter either. I keep these things, partly because many of them were given to us by that person, but also because it is fun to tell their story and remember the good times surrounding each piece.

On Wednesday, we are giving away many of the woodworking tools and equipment ….the free standing ones….built from the ground up by my husband’s grandfather’s hands; to a very nice pastor who lives nearby and who is about to retire. The equipment has been in our shed for years as we didn’t have a place to put them nor the desire to create on that level. While this equipment holds no particular value for us, as he didn’t share his hobby with my husband, it had value to him and he gave it to his grandson because, in his own way, he valued him. And by passing these tools on to someone who will truly value them I feel we are furthering his legacy while at the same time giving some of that same happiness he got when he used the tools. We further the legacy of those who gave us the other things we are keeping as well, by keeping them and by continuing to tell their story, over and over again.

The underlying and resounding message here is the Art of Giving and it is in the giving that the legacy is created. It took me a while to really grasp this truth and it is through the giving that I began to understand it. When we were given these things, it wasn’t so the giver could get rid of them. We were given these things because each person wanted us to have something of theirs. They wanted to provide us with the same enjoyment and or happiness they experienced while using the things they gave us.  They wanted to show us that they cared and wanted us to share in their excitement and enjoyment the object brought to them. And, it is in this action of caring  and being generous that we see the beautiful Art of Giving. These objects, the ones we have kept, will grace our next home and we will be reminded daily that someone cared about us and thought we were special enough to be on the receiving end of things they valued. It is the same when we give, when we give to people we know and when we give to strangers. We show we care. We show we want the receiver to experience what we experienced when someone gave to us. We show that we value the person receiving and we value them enough to want them to have something that meant so much to us.

And, so, while the last of the items (the woodworking equipment) will not make it onto the truck, they will still have a special value to the person who received them and we are also on the receiving end because we are a part of providing happiness and excitement to someone else and we receive that wonderful ‘feel good’ feeling you get when doing something nice for someone else.

 

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