My story: When my daughter was eight years old she spent every other weekend at her dad’s house, and more often in the summer. That year she planted and grew a beautiful rose garden there, one that she was quite passionate about. I remember how painfully hard it was to be away from her, and how much I would look forward to her return with an update of her “award-winning” roses. She would go into thorough detail about every one of them.
At the end of the summer, she presented me with a wreath that contained every single one of the roses that she had grown, dried and arranged in a heart. She was so excited to give it to me, so proud of her achievement. It was among the sweetest gifts I have ever received, made with such pure love.
It still makes me smile, such a beautiful reminder of that time and of her love. My daughter, on the other hand, HATES it! She frequently tells me how kitschy it is, how it embarrasses her that I still have it hanging in my house. She begs me to get rid of it, and even thinking about doing that is really hard. Everything molecule in my sappy soul tells me that getting rid of it is wrong, which is why it is still on my wall.
The truth: Nearly 15 years later, the rose heart wreath is not holding up so well. The color has faded, and petals fall off every time I close the door that is near it. It’s a dust magnet, and because it is too fragile to dust, it’s getting kind of germy. My daughter is living with me temporarily, and I want her to like the space where she lives. If I get rid of it, there will be a space on my wall that can be filled by one of her brilliant paintings. It is just a thing. She is the everlasting gift that continues, even if this symbol of her goes away. Plus, dead things are really bad feng shui.
My action: I took a picture of my favorite gift and am posting it here, just in case I ever want to visit it. The roses are in the trash, the “frame” is at a thrift store. I hope that another daughter finds it there and makes a new gift for her mom, one that brings her as much joy as this has brought me.