Friday, March 31, 2006

The best gift ever

Of course, Bigfella's presence in my life is the best gift ever, but today's mail brought something that is a close second. I have had a couple entries swirling in my head for a few days, but they will have to wait. Today's gift is less about the material present, and more about the sentiment behind it.

We have received many beautiful and generous gifts to welcome Bigfella to the world, but today's was the first that made me cry. When I went to the mailbox this afternoon, I was worn out. I spent the morning trying to get my financial aid paperwork finalized, and then treated myself to a celebratory lunch. While out, I ran into two of my former colleagues and read an article about how much my former school has deteriorated this year. By the time I got home, and discovered that the neighbor's cherry tree had lost a limb across our driveway, I was very drained.

But I went to the mailbox, and pulled out a card that was addressed to both me and Dyke Two. I looked more closely, and saw that it was postmarked in Tulsa. My father's family is scattered throughout the midwest, so I assumed it was from one of them. I opened it, and found a sweet card with pictures of babies of all races on the front. Inside, there was a check for $36 (Jewish tradition calls for monetary gifts in multiples of 18, which is the number that represents "chai" or life). The card was sent by my great-aunt Gete, with a note welcoming Bigfella to the family.

Aunt Gete must be close to 90, if not older. She is one of the last of Bubbeh's generation still alive. She represents the family tradition, the values and history of our bloodline. I assumed that the nonagenarian set wouldn't be so keen on all that Bigfella brings to the table. I assumed that Bigfella, Dyke Two and I would forever be uncomfortable at family reunions, facing subtle ostracism and strained conversation. I never anticipated that they would be sending presents to welcome Bigfella into the family. It was the welcome into the family, which really was a welcome for both Bigfella and Dyke Two, that is the best gift ever.

Apparently, Aunt Gete is hipper than I originally gave her credit.


At 5:28 PM, Blogger party b said...

That is SOOOO cool! :-) Those are the kind of people that make family worth dealing with!! They are the one's I always wish everyone else would model themselves after! Keeping tradition by recognizing and including the newest generation :-)

At 7:29 PM, Blogger art-sweet said...

Go Aunt Gete!

My Bubbeh (91 and fabulous) travelled across the country to come to our wedding... it was wonderful. Sometimes I think older people are more flexible in their thinking than the young. They've lived through enough to know that love is what really matters

At 8:34 PM, Blogger Mo said...

Very cool. That kind of gesture makes like so much sweeter. Yea Aunt Gete!

At 6:34 PM, Blogger Shelli said...

Go Gete!

Yasher Koach to her!

My 70-something cousins have invited us all for Pesach - we are overwhelmed with the generosity, to be honest.

People in general (except the government, of course) are all hipper than we give them credit for...


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