A gift

This story is about worthiness and that is something that I still struggle with today, a residual effect of domestic violence.


2014 Idaho

Tears stung my eyes and a flood of emotions seemed to make a steady barrage on my senses. I stepped outside and down the walkway marching, sighing and feeling indignant at the thought. It was hard to contain my anger and now tears fell into a steady stream until I finally sobbed.  Shame, guilt and confusion overrode my logical mind.  I felt betrayed and sickened, it was wrong and strange and there was nothing I could do about it, nothing.  I looked once again at the box that had been pushed onto the front porch and felt a tinge of calm take over. It was a fancy coffee maker complete with milk steamer and accessories.  I would find a simple and kind way to return the contents but I wasn’t sure exactly how. I had cooked for this family member that was all, it was nothing.  Why would he buy me such an expensive gift and how would I explain to myself that I was worthy.

Riyadh 2007

The kids gathered around me and held out boxes wrapped in bright colors with bows. I was shocked and unsure and saw him glance our way. They told me that they wanted to do something special for me and so they had come up with a plan that included gifts and making lunch. I continued to monitor his gestures as he sighed and gave a chuckle. I opened the package carefully removing tape and ribbons slowly, savoring each moment.  It was as if for that brief minute I was a real mom, entitled to love and affection and even gifts. I smiled and hugged each child as they clambered to smell the fragrance of this set they had personally put together. The basket containing special lotions, perfumes and body wash was organized neatly and wrapped with a pink ribbon.   A second parcel lay on the counter, a large piece of paper that had been covered with a delicate layer of tissue, topped with a tiny bow. I gently removed the outer layer and looked at the contents. A poem and picture including hearts and flowers had been written and designed by See See. I read it over silently and hugged her telling her it was perfect. The little ones grabbed my hands and drug me to the dining room where eggs and toast lay on the table.

It was a joyful day and although he skulked in the background it appeared that he had accepted this little celebration, forgetting his unwritten rule that no gifts would be given to mama.  Later that night he held the paper and words that described me as a mother, faithful, loving and amazing. He picked up parts of the gift basket and looked at each label, turning them from side to side. Finally his silence was broken and he laughed holding the paper in hand looking as if he would tear it in half. “This is who? Who? Your mother? “He laughed until he could no longer breathe and threw it down onto the bed half rumpled. “Look ya See See do not ever ever give anything to mama without my permission, NEVER!”