March will be the sixth anniversary of my grandmother’s passing. If you have lived in whit-dad-mamaOwensboro or Whitesville, you probably knew her, Betty Spurrier, or more commonly as Ms. Betty or just Mama. I think around Christmastime, it’s the best time to remember those we have loved and lost, even though I think about Mama just about every day.

When I was a little girl, Mama was one of my primary caregivers. My parents worked so hard, and Mama was always there when they needed someone to look after me. She was one of my greatest teachers, and looking back, one of my very best friends. I recall around Christmastime, I must have been seven or eight, I asked my dad if we could get her a special gift for Christmas. My dad agreed, and I picked out the most perfect cross necklace. She wore that necklace all the time. I mean, all the time.

About two weeks before Mama passed away, we were sitting in my parents’ den, and she gave that necklace back to me. I was 25 at the time. I just will never forget her taking that necklace off, and handing it to me. She had worn that necklace for nearly twenty years. There just really isn’t any way to describe what getting that necklace back meant to me. I wear it every day.

I think about myself as a child, giving that necklace to Mama. I wanted so deeply for her to know what she meant to me. I wanted to thank her. Now that I am a teacher and have children of my own, I receive wonderful gifts all the time.

How often do you receive a gift from a child? Have you received a handmade card? What about a candle? As a matter of fact, have you ever opened a gift to realize it’s a bottle of lotion that has already been used? What about a bottle half full of perfume? A drawn picture? A flower from the flowerbed out front of the school? A weed? What about a piece of jewelry?  Have you ever thought about how this gift the best this child has to offer?

I can tell you, it is. It always is; whether you receive a beautiful ornament, plant, mug. Whether you receive a bottle of lotion, perfume, or jewelry; that gift is given in gratitude. It’s given with love. Display it. Show it off. Wear it. When that child comes back to you tomorrow, in a year, or five, ten, twenty years, let them see how much that gift means to you. It will mean even more to them.