It’s now four days after Christmas and I’m still fighting tears. As I have mentioned before, this was the first Christmas in 30 years of marriage that my husband and I had alone. Alone- what a miss choice of words. Together. Just without kids, parents, friends or others. Just us, well and two Golden Retrievers.
The tears I mention have nothing to do with our solitude. No. They have to do with a most special gift I received. I will tell you about it.
My family sent us wonderful personal presents. I have delightful cards my father designs and my mother mass produces. I am a card person (should you want to know) so these are doubly special. One daughter sent us a unique salt rock slab- huge like a platter- for grilling foods along with books about how to do it. As you have probably learned, we are rather serious about our cooking. Our other daughter has kids to care for. These are children hospitalized with serious and often tragic conditions. She took the money that she would have spent on gifts for us and went crazy at Target. Christmas Eve she played Santa and HO-HO’d the halls of the hospital where she is a doctor.
My heart twisted with all that arrived both at our home and through the images of others. Yet, my tears came with another present. I wrapped more cookbooks, books on travel, books on more interesting topics than you can imagine. My dear husband has many months of reading ahead of him. Plus, there are a few I snuck in for myself. No, those weren’t the ones that caught me in surprise. I’d bought those. A bit of a theme here for our family.
After opening the new pajamas with dogs all over, the earrings I have worn since Christmas, the books on writing—I was handed the special gift. In September we spent a month at our house in Italy. My husband had insisted we renew our wedding vows, this was for the second time. I’ve married this guy three times. He is the romantic of this duo.
I didn’t know that he had chronicled the month at the extent he had. He was taking pictures, sure, but not as I had understood.
I opened a beautiful package wrapped in silver paper. Inside was a book. A true book. Not spiral bound. Not from Kinkos. A real book filled with color photographs that went on for nearly 50 pages. A book about our celebration, our friends, our time together.
So, four days after Christmas I am still holding my breath at moments. I love the trinkets; I confess I do. But, I would trade them all in for one copy of this book.