Today's prompt at asks "What is the Best Gift You Have Ever Given". This is much harder for me than yesterday's when I was able to write about the best gift I have ever received.
Wow....I do try to buy with love and forethought but so often I have no idea what to get someone that I just buy to have something for them to open. My extended family all provide pretty well for themselves and rarely NEED anything. Those that do need something I try to provide throughout the year. I guess the best gifts I give are to the families that we adopt each year. The family from two years ago stands out in my memory. It was a family of 6. Mom, Dad and 4 children, the oldest being 10 years of age. Mom was working double shifts in a local Coney Island since Dad, who was in construction, had broken his back and had not been able to return to work. He had no insurance to cover his lost pay and had been out of work for quite some time. They had lost their home, put all their belongings into storage and lived in a motel until they could save up enough money to get into a rental home. Meanwhile, they got behind on the storage unit (living in a motel is very expensive) and all their belongings were auctioned off.
When I was given this family's information one of the things that they had on their list of needs was a bunk bed. As luck would have it, my sister's mil had just given us a log bunk bed set but we had put it in our garage because it was too big for the room I was going to put it into. I had planned on returning it to her and she was going to put it on ebay to sell. When I got this info, I contacted her and she generously donated the bunk beds to this family.
Frank and I went grocery shopping, toy shopping and coat and boot shopping. We piled everything up, grabbed John and Kirsten to help us lug everything and set up the bed and went over to their rental house. I have never in my life seen a family so appreciative. The kids did not run to the toys as I expected but to the grocery baskets. They were overjoyed to find apples and peanut butter and their mom immediately began quartering apples and smearing peanut butter on them. The kids were ecstatic. And when we brought in the bed you would have thought we were Santa himself. The oldest little boy started crying and gave us the biggest hug I have ever gotten. It wasn't long before we were all blubbering and crying and laughing.
I guess it wasn't so hard to come up with the best gift I have ever given after all. Each year we adopt a family but this was the first year we were given the opportunity to deliver the goods instead of turning it over to an organization to deliver. The memories still warm my heart and bring tears to my eyes.