Community//

The Gift from my Father

The best gifts are indirect and last a lifetime … It was Christmas 1957 and I was 10 years old. I had thick hair that was hard to manage and my mother more often than not pulled it tightly back into a ponytail.  I started asking early for the Lady Sunbeam hair dryer that year—you […]

The best gifts are indirect and last a lifetime ...

It was Christmas 1957 and I was 10 years old. I had thick hair that was hard to manage and my mother more often than not pulled it tightly back into a ponytail.  I started asking early for the Lady Sunbeam hair dryer that year—you might remember the kind—the one with a plastic hood and a tube that delivered hot air.  I was sure that it would solve all my hair problems and that I would look like Grace Kelly.

But 15 days before Christmas I found a beautifully wrapped small box under the tree that my father promised would bring me great joy.  For those 15 days, I tried to keep my disappointment hidden.  How he could he know what I needed to manage my 10-year-old life?  The box didn’t rattle or even look interesting.

On Christmas morning I awoke with a heavy heart.  But when I descended down the stairs and looked under the Christmas tree, there was the Lady Sunbeam, all laid out and ready to use.  He had a big smile on his face as I jumped up and down.  And the package?  A block of wood.  My family laughed all day.

I lost my father when I was 29 years old.  I didn’t keep the block of wood and the hair dryer is long gone, but his lesson has stayed with me my entire life.  Keep a sense of humor and know that it’s not the present that helps us manage our lives or lingers over time; it's the love.

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