The Best Gift I Ever Gave
It cracks me up to get these blogging assignments. Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate having someone pay me occasionally to write a blog post, but the topics always make me think of the first week of school and the inevitable “What I Did This Summer” essay.
Here comes the disclosure:
SWAGG is a free mobile app (download here) that lets you shop smarter using your mobile phone. Buy, send or swap SWAGG GIFTS and organize your old school plastic gift cards.
For every download of the app between now and Dec. 31, 2010, SWAGG will donate $1 to Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) , up to $125,000.
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The Best Gift I Ever Gave
by Suebob Davis
Let me begin by saying that I am not going down the path to non-gift gifts. You know what I’m talking about…”I gave my husband the son he always wanted,” or “I gave that smelly man on the bus bench a kind and loving smile and made his day just a little brighter.”
Nope. Not going there. Materialism is where it’s at, baby. Save the heartstring-tugging for Oprah. Oh, wait, she likes material gifts, too. Even Oprah is on my side. Boo-yah.
The best gift I ever gave was about $15 on Amazon.com. Maybe less. It was cheaply constructed of silver plastic and the world’s cheapest chain. And yet it was beloved and used every day.
Let me ‘splain. My dad loved a schedule. He retired in 1980 and he never, ever, til his dying day, ever deviated from his work schedule. Up at 5:15 a.m. Lunch at 11:30. In bed by 9:15 p.m. He never saw an episode of ER or Hill Street Blues or Letterman in his life.
He checked his watch incessantly and was obsessed with time. His favorite criticism was “You’re late!” He was routinely the first person to arrive at anything. The swap meet near our house opens at 8 a.m. on Saturdays, so he went over about 7:15. Did not want to be late.
He went blind gradually. He got so he would hold his watch right up to his face and peer at it to see the time. Even without anywhere to go or much to do, knowing the time was all-important.
Then came the great eye infection. “Great” as in “Great Depression,” not as in “good.” It was terrible and serious and left him almost completely blind.
He did not let this bother him much. If you didn’t know he was blind, you might not have guessed. He soldiered on, as was his tendency. The thing that truly upset him, though, was not knowing the time. It was as if he was cut adrift, unmoored from life.
I went shopping for a talking clock and found this. He could push the button and hear the time. Suddenly he was back in business.
That little cheap thing was his constant companion. He loved it far beyond anything I had ever given him before. He and my mom laughed because it had an alarm that sounded like a rooster crowing, and somehow the alarm got set for 6 pm and could not be unset. Every night during dinner, they had about a minute of rooster serenade.
When we buried Dad’s ashes, my sister made a little packet of things to accompany him on his journey. Photos of mom and of all of us, and, of course, that silly little clock. We like to imagine that, as sun sets over the cemetery, you can hear the faint sound of a rooster crowing.
More stuff I didn’t write:
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Stand Up To Cancer receives a $1 for every download, up to $125,000, and/or the Sundance Film Festival Sweepstakes, with an AMAZING prize valued at $4,000.
More info about Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C)
SWAGG has partnered with non-profit Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C). For every download of the app between now and Dec. 31, 2010, SWAGG will donate $1 to SU2C up to $125,000. Awesome, right?! Visit the SU2C site for more info http://www.standup2cancer.org/