Friday, December 18, 2015


I had blocked off Tuesday morning as the day to run a few errands and to wrap my presents for the kids. (Thank goodness that Santa's presents arrive wrapped already. I mean, who has time to do his job, right?) So I found myself standing at the dining table, scissors in one hand, tape in the other, staring at the colorful wrapping paper spread out before me. I was there--in Ohio, in my house--and yet I wasn't. For my mind immediately jumped to my mom and her ability to wrap presents.

From a young age, I was awed by the gifts my mother would churn out. Perfect corners, straight ribbons, bows that curled (before you could buy the already-curled bows). I'd attend birthday parties and mothers would comment on how nicely wrapped the gift was. Sometimes, people would ask me if I had the store do the wrapping. "Nope," I'd say. "My mom wrapped it for me." I felt proud of Mom at those moments.

These are not presents my mother wrapped. I found the picture during an image search, and it's everywhere. Who originally took this photo? I'm not sure.
I asked Mom once why she was so good at wrapping presents. "I worked for a department store during the Christmas rush," she said. At the time, I accepted her answer for what it was--just an answer. Now, as an adult, I realize that her gift-wrapping ability was an example of practice makes perfect. I know if I really tried to do the best job I could on the presents, every time I wrapped them, that I could be as great a wrapper as she is. I'm just not sure I have the energy to do that right now.

I also don't have the energy to make this post into something special. Just know this: I've said a lot about my Mom and her diagnosis of Alzheimer's. I've written about how I've been hurt by her and how some of the memories I have of Mom (and Dad) aren't always the most pleasant (isn't that the way it is with all families?). But the presents and the lesson I learned from them stand out to me so much. In a roundabout way, Mom gave me a present I hadn't expected. I feel as though I should say, Thank you.

I guess I just did.


Anonymous said...

This is lovely. I'm glad you found something special in those memories of your mom :)

Christina said...

Thanks. And me, too.