“How to regift” a gift and “When to regift” a gift? Thirty years ago, my son Tommy lost his battle with Leukemia. Just six months shy his 5th birthday – yet the strongest man I’d ever known.
When I left the hospital that day, going to an empty house, having no other children and divorced…I didn’t have a clue what was next. Tommy’s father had handled all the Funeral Arrangements with our parents. Back then in the South, funeral services were for 3 days – two days of visitation, third-day church and then graveside service.
Hundreds of people had visited on the first day (2pm – 4pm and 5pm – 7pm). People I haven’t seen in years, so many hugs, so many words of encouragement, so many tears. On the Second day: 11am – 2pm, it had seemed to be more people than the 1st day. Some people brought gifts, money, some brought donation cards with Tommy’s name, a few brought songs, one played on the piano and another later on the guitar. By 2pm I was exhausted, in a fog. Knowing that one more visitation was starting at 5pm – 7pm, I just couldn’t handle anymore. So, I went to my parents’ house to rest and contemplated on whether to return.
It soon turned Five-o’clock and my father in law called: “Lynne, you have to get here, there’s a ton of people asking for you”. At the time I didn’t quite get why these people had to see me again. Later that evening, I was saying my good-byes when my sister grabbed my hand and walked me to someone, she had been waiting patiently to see me. First I didn’t recognize her. Then I soon realized it was a woman from the hospital…a mother whom I watched lose her son prior to mine. All of those hugs from everyone and all of those gifts people had given were wonderful. But, when this Mother hugged me, her hug, her gift was and is, indescribable. That hug, that feeling, was a person that knew exactly what I was going through. Behind her were the nurses and volunteers from the hospital. Since that day, I’ve given that gift back to many people, by being there for them. In my heart, I know they’ll return it to another.
Today, thinking back, I’m so grateful for all those hugs and gifts AND that one…very special hug, with a very special Gift that was meant to be – “Re-gifted…always.
Thank you for reading this special post – and Thank you for re-gifting.