As we move through life, there is often less and less that we need of material things. People rack their brains to think of something to give for a birthday, Christmas gift, anniversary, etc. Sometimes the most meaningful gift is to give your attention to the other person.
This article came about because of a conversation of a friend telling about the gifts she received from her grandchildren. The eldest grandchild took her to dinner and movie. He paid for dinner, and the grandmother explained about tipping for service. Later, he taught her the intricacies of her new iPad and how to use Skype. The next younger child and the grandmother shared making pottery. The youngest went to a children’s museum and then to a McDonalds. Each time, a relationship was bolstered and memories were made. The memories were priceless and the cost was very inexpensive.
In 2011, the author had an opportunity to accompany his Dad on an Honor Flight from Columbus to Washington, DC to see the war memorials there. The group received a sendoff at Port Columbus, welcomes and sendoffs at Baltimore airport, and a great welcome late at night when we returned. As we toured the WWII Memorial and all of the other memorials, there were many conversations with Dad and the others that were on what turned out to be a spiritual journey. He passed later in 2011, as many, many veterans of WWII are doing now. If you know a WWII veteran, it is time to create your memories now.
We have opportunities each day to create positive memories for ourselves and for others. We can open our eyes and hearts to seeing the wonders and helping those that are lost in the daily routines to find things worth remembering. It doesn’t take time as much as it takes intention to give and receive memorable events in our lives. Being willing to stop and receive attention is an issue these days. Many hours are wasted watching television, surfing the web, and other semi-mindless activities that could be spent just being with someone that cares about human contact.
We live in an age where communications are nearly free and the technology allows for much more personal contact than ever before. Many of us have unlimited minutes on our phones, but we don’t reach out enough to reminisce about old memories or create new ones. Skype™ is great; especially for maintaining long distance relationships and keeping track of what is happening in our lives.
When we do have a gift of something, we can make the gift memorable by putting more of ourselves into the gift. A friend is giving her niece paints and canvas for her birthday. The friend is making up a certificate for painting lessons that she will provide to the niece as part of the gift. Long after the paints and canvas have been used, the painting lessons will be remembered and perhaps create a lifelong vocation for the niece.
Giving the gift of memories is easy if you are looking for the opportunities. Don’t forgive to give some of the gifts to yourself and to receive gifts from others. Sometimes it has to be your turn. You are a child of the Creator and worthy of good things. Keep your eyes and heart open for blessings that make the best memories for all of us.