Thursday, April 21, 2011

O is for Open (as in Open Heart)

A few years ago, the advertising monster reached up and bit me in the butt

right before my birthday. I was drawn into the commercials for Kay Jewelers'

Open Hearts Line for two reasons: it was beautiful, and Gayla and I loved Jane

Seymour from "Somewhere in Time" and "Dr. Quinn." Plus who

isn't drawn to the idea that "If Your Heart Is Open, Love Will Always Find

Its Way In."

I couldn't wait! For the first time in a while, I had something to tell my husband that I wanted

for my birthday (other than my standard couples dance lessons or paint for our room)! However,

before I could tell him, he let me know that he may be laid off. Change of plans...secrets

kept only in my heart and never shared. Two days before my birthday we got the

bad word and that just buried my little wish even deeper. Then as if life

didn't suck enough, both our puppies were killed two weeks later. Stuff it down

a little further. I didn't want anything for birthday or Christmas that year!

Then as if hiding my wish so deep somehow sent a message to her gift-dar, my

Gayla surprised me with a necklace from the collection on Christmas morning. I

was elated and shocked because I hadn't said a word to ANYONE about wanting

something. I asked Gayla how she knew, and she said, "When I saw the commercials

back in November, I just knew you would love it!"

That was Gayla...she knew how to give gifts and always gave with a full heart. You actually had to

watch what you said around her or made sure you didn't linger over any one

thing too long when you accompanied her shopping. And if you did either of

those things, you better make sure it was something you truly wanted. Gayla was

a giver...if she knew you wanted something, she got it for you.

I don't think my sister had "acquaintances" because when she got to know someone,

she really learned who they were inside and out. She listened when you spoke

and had a keen sense for making sure all whom she loved were happy and taken
care of. Although I made sure that her birthday present that year was a piece from the same collection of jewelry and I always tried to make sure I gave as good as I got, I don't think I ever was as good at giving to others as Gayla was. I do however intend to spend the rest of this life trying to emulate that feature of my sister.

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