This is the part six
of the story, Purple Memories.
My Christmas gift to you.
The Christmas bustle had settled with opened gifts sprinkled around the family room. In keeping with tradition, Grandpa and Grandma watched their large family unwrap the presents and prepared to dole out hugs and smiles.
Leah stayed in the room after the grandkids dragged their new toys to other parts of the house. She and one of the uncles scooped pieces of wrapping paper and shoved them in a large trash bag.
Grandpa handed Grandma a gift from their stack. She accepted the small box and gracefully removed the paper. She opened the box lined with blue velvet and squealed. “You shouldn’t have. This cost too much.”
“Of course I should.” He took the necklace, opened the clasp, and fastened it around her neck then kissed her.
She wrapped her hand around the stone and smiled. They had their own way sweet way of communicating. He bought her expensive jewelry, she complained about the cost then they kissed and smiled as though they were newlyweds.
Leah had hoped to grow old with Jerry in the same way. A month after their second daughter was born, he’d taken her to a fancy restaurant and held her hand. “The night of our honeymoon we shared our dreams. I don’t want you to think I forgot yours. Someday I will take you to Europe. We may not be able to afford it until we’re old—” he squeezed her hand. ”I had planned to give you a special present tonight, one to remind you not only of my love, but my intent to fulfill your dream one day.”
The next day a drunk driver stole Jerry’s life from her. Ten years had passed and his family became the source of comfort, sent by God.
She reached under the tree for some wadded wrapping paper and noticed one gift that had been missed. It had been pushed behind a thick pine branch. She crawled under the tree and loosened the present from its binds. This was the same gift found in the attic.
She took the present too her mother-in-law. “This gift was hidden behind a branch and missed. Do you know who it is for. There isn’t a nametag.”
Her eyes widened and she touched her hand to the purple ribbon. “This, I believe, is for you.”
Leah handed the package to her mother-in-law. “It can’t be. The kids found this in the attic earlier when playing.”
She tipped the box and sighed. “So that’s where it went. He couldn’t find it, searched the whole house.”
“Who couldn’t find it?”
She touched the ribbon softly then handed the gift to Leah. “Jerry. He wrapped this gift for you.”
Leah sat back in her chair. Her heart beat with such intensity she could hardly breathe. She gently opened the paper, wanting to save every piece including the ribbon and found a white box. She opened the lid and gasped. “A bracelet. Look!” Hanging from the chain was The Eiffle Tower, Big Ben, and several other charms. “And between each one is a small opal.”
She turned to her father-in-law. “Will you help me put it on?”
“Of course.” As he pulled the backing to remove the bracelet, a small piece of paper tumbled out of the box.
Leah hands trembled as she unfolded the paper.
Dearest Leah, I have invested a small amount of money in an account for our trip. It isn’t much, but someday, after we add more funds and accrue interest, we should have enough to take our trip. I loved you yesterday, I love you today, and I will love your forever.
Her father-in-law had removed the bracelet and held it ready to fasten to her wrist. “He had the information coming to our address. Probably wanted to keep it a secret until he had enough saved. The paperwork is in my office. According to the last statement, you should have enough to take the trip.”
He turned to his wife and winked. She nodded as if understanding the secret code. “Leah, as a special Christmas present from us, we’ll pay for the girls to go with you.”
“You are our daughter. Of course we would.”
Leah touched each charm on the bracelet representing places Jerry would have taken her. She never expected to be part of a family so filled with love.
Because of this family she felt so very blessed by God.
May you see blessings from God
I hope you enjoyed your gift.