The Gifts of LoveOn the way into St. Andrew’s Episcopal School this morning, I was already a little wistful thinking about the fact that this was Taylor’s “last” time to be at Lessons and Carols. Maureen and I have loved this service since he first sang “Mary Had a Baby” as a 1st grader. Now, he is a senior; Kyla is a freshman; and Katelyn is a 6th grader.

As we drove, Katelyn wanted to read to me her Christmas present from English class. I’m glad she did, because it is the perfect expression of the love I always feel during this most wonderful celebration that is Christmas.

Dear Dad,

The love that you and mom have provided me is more important than any Christmas gift that you can buy at a store. The time that you have taken to take care of us and watch us grow up is so breathtaking. You have been by our side throughout all of our lives. You have loved me when times got tough, and taught me how to love. The Gift of the Magi is a perfect story during Christmas time, because these two characters Jim and Della are sacrificing the prized possessions because of their love for each other. They are selling their possessions in the sacrament of love. Love in a family is a major part of having a well grounded happy family. I picked three things that represent the gift of our family.

A gift to me is something that I will treasure forever, like all of the memories I have cherished with mom. My favorite memory with mom is when we were sitting on the couch together the weekend before she passed away. Before dinner, we were watching HGTV, along with some movies on Netflix, on our living room couch. My mom was on breathing tubes and she could barely walk. While everyone else was at the dinner table, my mom and I were on the couch eating dinner and talking, talking about our memories. Thank you, Mom, for watching over me wherever you are, and being my guardian angel. Throughout my life you have loved me and respected me.

Also, a gift is something that is one of a kind, like our family. Our family connects in a different way. The family that I was born into was not like any other kind of family. It started out as any family does, with a mom, a dad, and kids. Like Kyla, Taylor, and me. But then mom passed away on October 21, 2014 and our lives were changed forever. I was only ten and in the beginning of 4th grade. Kyla was in her first year of middle school, and Taylor was in 10th grade at the upper school. I remember hearing about Taylor’s reaction and seeing Kyla’s reaction. I remember the feeling inside of me. I was asking myself what could I have done to prevent this? This day taught all of us not to take for granted the things we love most and to take every day step by step.

The gift of life is something extraordinary that God gave us, but it is what we do with that life that makes us extraordinary people. Throughout my life you have given me joy, and you have taught me how to be joyful. You have given me outstanding gifts. Not just from the store, but also from the heart.

Merry Christmas!
From Your FAVORITE Third Child,