Sometimes a gift that is two-fold is the best gift of all!
That one sentence my friends, is an understatement if I have ever known one. I'd like to share this story with you all, and it may be longer than you care to read, but it is one I know some of my friends will want to hear. I hope it warms you heart as you read about something that certainly warmed mine.
Early in December, I posted this post, about a lady I read about on facebook who was selling her dachshund treasures in order to be able to provide a Christmas for her four children. She was selling her dachshund figurines on ebay and had two auctions up and running. I glanced at the auctions, and realized rather quickly that they were out of my budget and I knew without a doubt, that if I did in fact win one of those auctions, I 'd send her a note and tell her to keep the doggies and enjoy the money. I know myself, and I know that is what I would have done.
When I soon realized I would not be winning one of the auctions, I felt like surely there was something I or we could do to help. I posed that very question on the Frankie Doodle facebook page that had mentioned one of their early customers were having to sell their dachshunds. Soon others started to ask how they could help, so another lady and myself emailed back and forth and was able to set up a "chip-in" to help this family during this holiday season. Several people were able to contribute a little something and we managed to give her a little extra and were very happy to do so. I believe we collected $295.00 for this family, and I'd like to thank each of you who were able to contribute in some way. That is wonderful!!
I do things like this when I can and most of the time, I don't tell my family, or even mention it to them. I have on many occasions given my lunch money for the day to someone on the street needing a hand up. I have crocheted a scarf and throw and gave it to a lady who lives in a park on the other side of town just this past December. When your heart speaks, you need to listen and answer. I don't question what happens to things I have given or how the money is spent, that is not something I feel I need to question......most of my family however, sees things a little differently than I do most of the time, thus the reason for keeping some things to myself.
Shortly, after setting up the "chip-in" things got hectic for me during the holiday season. My daughter graduated with her Masters degree and we were busy with that and the holidays got here so quickly, there was just not enough time in the day to do all I needed to do. I kept meaning to check and see what the auctions on eBay finally went for, but I just never got around to doing so. It was easier to watch the "chip-in" from the link on my blog and I just never made it back to find the link to the actions again. However, this family stayed in my heart and I seldom went a day without thinking of them during this holiday season. Through Facebook, I was able to send a message the week before Christmas just making sure she received the money and wished them a Merry Christmas.
Christmas morning came, and one of the first thoughts I had was of this family. I silently wished for them a wonderful day filled with wonderful new memories......but rather quickly, it was time to start cooking as we were heading to my brothers house later in the day and I did not have a lot of time to dally. So when I thought about sending a Christmas greeting that morning, it never got sent, I just got busy and the thought slipped my mind.
...fast forward to the afternoon at my brothers house. Now we do things in a rather non traditional way in regards to gifts in my family these days. We do not exchange gifts between my brother and my families really, we do a gift exchange, but not individual gifts. My mom always buys individual gifts and when it came time to open gifts, honestly, I did not even read the tags as they are and should have all been from her. So in my ripping off paper from boxes...my brother tells me that the box I was holding was from him. "What do you mean, from you??", I asked...... I vaguely remember him telling me to just be careful opening it and it was from him..and quickly informed me I had not read the tag.
Carefully but suspiciously I opened the box. Suspiciously, because my brother is a practical joker and well, I could think of a few things he could put in a box to cause a good laugh when I opened it.....hope he does not get any bright ideas by this!
Inside the box was a lot of packaging wrap and two pieces of paper on the top. The first was a note from my brother......the first line was "Sometimes a gift that is two-fold is the best gift of all!" I quickly knew once I skimmed that letter that if I finished that letter, I'd be a blubbering mess, I skimmed the note as if I had read it and quickly went on to the next piece of paper.
I could feel all eyes in the room were focused on me and was feeling a bit uncomfortable trying to "hold it together" The next piece of paper I did not get read either...I noticed first off "Frankie Doodles" and that was ALL I read. I did not read another word, but looked up at my brother and asked how in the world did he know about Frankie Doodles. I assumed that my brother was lurking on Facebook and saw when I had commented on that Facebook page. I assumed he had purchased a piece of Frankie Doodle Dachshund art work for me for Christmas.
This was the first dachshund I opened and of course I loved it. I thought that was what he had ordered for me, but somewhere in the back of my brain, I felt this was sorta familiar in a way. I told him I loved it and thank you.....then he said keep opening the box, but be careful.
The second one I opened was the dachshund in the first picture....and when I saw that dachshund....my mind raced....I knew.....I knew....but how could that be??? As tears stung my eyes, I looked at my brother and said without question..."These are that ladies dachshunds.....how????......how did you know???" Then all at once I realized my brother had somehow found out about this situation and had bid on the auction on eBay and then gave them to me as a gift. I am sure I had one of those real ugly face cries, because there was no way a pretty cry was coming from this....between tears, I slowly unwrapped each one, and honestly with each one I opened, I was so torn with the thoughts of sending them back to the lady who sold them and then feeling bad about having those thoughts as my brother got them for me special. I had a lot of emotions to sort out and never did read those two notes until I got home and could read them without an audience.
My brothers note was a gentle reminder that no matter how hurt I feel over things and people we have lost, he is still here and we both share in those memories. He is my brother and he loves me....it is shameful how we sometimes get so wrapped up inside our own hurts we forget the things that matter the most. I will try and not forget again. He knew I'd be confused but hoped this gift would be a great surprise and special. The second note was to my brother from the lady who sold my brother the dachshund figurines. Again, I just did not read it and never realized it until that evening. Seems my brother swore her to keep a secret and not let me in on the surprise.
I still shake my head at the fact my brother surprised me with this incredible gift for myself, but more importantly, his gift of the purchase of these figurines had a huge part in the assurance that this family had a good Christmas. I can not tell you how special this was for me and how it was the most incredible gift anyone could have ever given me.
.......now Christmas evening after we had returned home, I logged into Facebook and had a message from Karen, the lady who sold the dachshunds to my brother...she said that she heard I had a special gift this year.... yes indeed......I told her I was still trying to sort it all out and honestly, felt a little guilty for having the figurines. Below is the message she sent me the night of Christmas, and I want to share it with you all. I hope it serves as a reminder to listen to your heart, you just don't know what little or small thing you do will make such a huge difference to someone else.
"Your brother emailed me when he won them and was very excited to give them to you! He insisted I keep it a secret. I loved the doxies while they were here but it is your turn now! I will collect others in the future! I feel like this was an extraordinary experience that we were all involved in and that is the joy of it all. I keep Joanne (Frankie Doodle artist) in the loop and I think she was blessed by the love of her sculptures and the community of friends that grew through all of this. I shared the story of your brother's gift with my kids and they are true believers of "things happen for a reason". I couldn't wait to see how surprised you were! You had no idea what you had a hand in! Thank you for your kindness and thought and prayers! We will live on, just differently, but these special stories and moments make it easier! Be Blessed"
.....the best gift of all is indeed one that is two-fold.....how true that is. The very idea that my brother took the time to research what on earth I was making comments about on Facebook, then spending the money to make sure I was able to have the figurines is most special. Not to mention, his letter to me reminding me of what is so very important in the big scheme of things was an incredible gift and I can not deny that. But also the fact that he was able to bless this family by wanting to do something nice for me is also an amazing gift to my heart.
These four dachshunds are more than clay figurines you would sit on a shelf and admire. The are the gentle reminder of love and a caring spirit that we each should have towards those we know and love and those we may never meet. I will most certainly enjoy them and treasure them all the days of my life. They are a part of a two-fold gift...a gift of love....a gift of compassion....a gift of hope for better days. And certainly, those kinds of gifts are the best of all.
Finished for Friday: Advent Animal 9
4 hours ago