I’m honored that during December, we’ll hear from several UBER-guest bloggers about the best gifts they’ve ever received or given. I’m so honored that Roxy Davis is offering this third and fourth “gift” posts. This week we hear from Roxy about the best gift she ever received. Thanks, Rox!
Choosing my best gift was easy. I spent the first eight years of my life in sunny Southern California in a small dusty town called Perris. In the 1950s it really was small town America at its best. The town librarian was my mother’s best friend and I spent a lot of my young life in our one room library under the librarian’s watchful eye.
The librarian was a ferocious little old lady whose name was Nina, the guardian of all things bookish in Perris. I come from a long line of intrepid and voracious readers and books flew back and forth from our house to the library weekly. Sometimes Nina would come to tea on a hot afternoon and bring the week’s new books with her, and one day she brought the books and her friend Sue to visit.
Nina and Sue had a history that went back years and years to college in the east; I remember that much, but what fascinated me was that Sue was an albino. She had white hair, fragile pale skin and pink eyes.
Weak, almost blind pink eyes that had a hard time with the sun. She wore glasses and looked closely at everything, holding whatever it was near her eyes to see it better, including the little six inch tall doll named Jenny carried everywhere with me.
When Sue met me on our front steps, my dolly was dressed for company in an old hanky. Sue introduced herself to me and my doll and asked if she might hold Jenny. She knew the way to my heart when she asked her name and held my doll close to her eyes. She looked closely at Jenny and admired her before handing her back and going into the house with the grownups.
I actually still have this doll, although I did outgrow carrying her everywhere with me. I got her for my fifth Christmas and within an hour I had her clothes off and on twenty times–and I tried to comb her hair too. Jenny had lovely blonde hair that was, sadly not rooted, it was a wig. I snatched my doll almost bald headed the first morning of our life together, her glued on hair came off in traumatizing clumps. She was left with grubby blonde fuzz and a tiny topknot but I only loved her more after I lost all her clothes.
My doll was with me as usual about a month after Sue’s visit when the mailman drove up to our mail box and saw me out playing in the front yard. He had a box in his hands and he called me over, smiling at my surprise when he handed me the package with name written on it. It was a shoebox, taped shut and tied with string as packages were once upon a time.
I raced into the house and found my mother, who was as surprised as I was that her five year old would get a package in the mail. She cut the string and the tape and lifted the lid off the box. I will never in my life forget the magic that was inside that box. It was a box of handmade clothes for Jenny. Beautiful, perfectly stitched tiny clothes. There was a tiny black velvet cocktail dress, a green wool coat, nightgowns, sun dresses, skirts, blouses, a bathing suit and best of all a wedding gown covered with lace and a tiny veil held on with an elastic strap that fitted under Jenny’s chin. That box was full to the brim and I couldn’t even talk, I just kept touching the clothes. There was no note, only a return address on the box.
It was from Sue, who held my doll in her hands and admired it. Sue, who could hardly see, had made that perfect box of clothes, for my poor bald handkerchief wearing doll. I am 62 now and I still cannot quite take in the magnificence of that gift of love given with no expectation of return.
Have you ever gotten a gift that knocked your socks off?