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Friday, April 16, 2010

The Birthday Present

Years ago when I was 17, I lost my dad after a horrendous car accident we had on Christmas Eve. As I cleaned out our apartment in preperation for me to move in with friends, I found a wrapped gift box with a card on his top shelf. It was a gift he had picked out for my 18th birthday. I dont know how long it was there, my birthday was months away. I held the perfectly wrapped box for hours, wondering why he had this gift all ready and what was in it. The paper was a beautiful blue and silver, heavy wrapping paper that hugged the box like a second skin. I was tempted to open it, but then thought I should keep it til my birthday

I enjoyed looking at that box every day. As long as I didnt open it, it was like my dad was still there, waiting for me to open this last gift of my childhood .

My birthday came and I remember having a small birthday when friends and those who had become family. When I got home I spent my last few moments with the beautifully wrapped box. I chose to open it alone, my last few private moments with my dad.

The paper gave way to a heavy white jewlers box from a well known jewlery store in Atlanta. The box was cubed shape, perfectly square and heavy. By opening the box, I knew I would bring to an end my physical human contact with my dad. Holding my breath I opened the box to reveal a watch box, which held a beautiful Tag Heuer timepiece. Black and gold, it was a diving watch I had admired, but didn't know my dad knew about it.

I wore that watch for years, replaced batteries, and enjoyed looking at everyday, a small piece of my dad I could wear on my wrist, and remember every wonderful moment and every generous thing he ever did for me.

Time took its toll, and after about 25 years, the seals started to go, and I noticed condensation in the crystal. I took the watch to a jeweler in Knoxville and had it sent off for repair- and then I became a travel nurse. I went to New York City, Washington DC, Duke, several vacations out of the country. Some how I didn't get back to Knoxville tho. My watch laid in the vault at Carlyle and Company........for 4 years.

The other day, my daughter was shopping at the mall in Knoxville and happened to call me. I remembered the watch and asked her to check on it. The next thing I knew, the jewler was calling and asking if my daughter was in fact my daughter and if she could pick up my watch. Three days later the postal service delivered my watch and it is back on my wrist, coming full circle from my wonderful daughter.

Every time I look at my watch, or tell anyone about it, I tell them about my incredible, wonderful dad, and then I tell them about my generous , sweet daughter