My family is separated by roughly 600 miles. When it became time to leave the nest, my sister went west while I came south. During the past two years, we have enjoyed a rekindled relationship as I am sure is common when a family member sails turbulent seas. Tragedy has a way of stripping away the veneer of the inconsequential and revealing that of true worth. Family, friends, love, goodness, joy, fellowship – those are things of significance.
We quit exchanging Christmas gifts between adults long ago and focus on the children instead. I once came upon a toy so loud and obnoxious that I knew her home was incomplete without it. It was an ambulance that screamed, “In an emergency, dial 911” at an outrageous decibel. I considered it my service to her. My nephew could barely talk at the time, but after he got the present from Cool Uncle Mark, he certainly knew who to call if mummy took a fall down the stairs. That gift paved the way for cash-only Christmases.