" I implore you, my child; observe heaven and earth, consider all that is in them, and acknowledge that God made them out of nothing (ex nihilo), and that mankind comes into being in the same way..." 2 Maccabees 7:28

Monday, December 15, 2008

Gifts From The Heart...



Oh, barf, that sounds SOOO Hallmark. Oh, well, I am open to suggestions for a better title, anyone?
I have received some truly beautiful gifts in the last year. All the friends and family who accompanied me to each chemo treatment, Br Robert shaving his head so that I would not be alone in my baldness, Harris offering me his hair for a wig, a hidden treasure in the wall at Czestochowa from Wojtek...
One of the most unusual I received from Rico and Masayo on their December trip to see us. It's called "A Thousand Paper Cranes", it is a traditional gift you give to the sick, a wish for good fortune. For the last two months, RIco Masayo, Rico's husband and Masayo's parents folded one thousand origami paper cranes by hand, then strung them together into rows and carried them to me through a grueling 19 hour flight from Japan to the US where they had to protect them from being crushed in flight. I was so blown away that I got choked up when I opened it- with my usual stoicism I couldn't read the description that came with the gift. Mom yelled "come here quick, Charity, it's Trinka's wedding all over again (a reference to my being assigned a reading at Trinx's wedding that I snffled and cried my whole way through- I was told later that no one could even understand what I was saying.) But as Charity was crying herself, I felt better about the whole thing.
It was very humbling- and to tell you the truth, I felt God's presence in the gift. At a time when I was tempted to be discouraged about what my future holds and what happens next, God sends me a gift through true friends that reminds me of his extravagance, his beauty, his generosity and his attention to even the tiniest details. And also reminds me to be patient- that the most beautiful things take time.

8 comments:

Kasia said...

O.k. the last few sentences of this post are pretty deep. I get it. But, as I am not a deep person myself, I am still wondering how you know there are exactly one thousand paper cranes? What if someone miscounted? It could happen. I once got a rosary with only 9 beads in one decade.

Br. Robert, OP said...

Kasia, don't be so picky or cynical. That's my job!

Faith, seeing how freely and openly you receive the gift of love is an inspiration to me. It shows a great trust in God and in your friends and family.

Still praying, as always. God bless and keep you!

hopeyg said...

Hey Papes, That's so cool about the cranes. I wonder how many hours they put in? When Chair had told me about the cranes, I thought they may have bought them- perhaps they sell 1000 paper cranes all strung up in Japan. So I was even happier and more surprized to hear that they made them all by hand. Love you and see you soon. Hoper

Anonymous said...

The title is fine. Just remove the word "barf" from the first sentence.
I love the meaning you found in this- patience, tiny details... You are so poetic! -Trinka

Rico said...

I was really happy to meet you!

Masayo said...

I'm so glad you were happy to receive a thousand cranes by us...
even though some of them were not good shape. ha ha...

sheshe said...

I know it's not the same, but I wanted to wish you a very, merry christmas before the day got ahead of me on your little blog.

You have been an inspiration to me in so many ways this year, and I'm so glad we met.

Much love, peace, joy and laughter to you from SheShe with all my heart.

Br. Robert, OP said...

You know, Trinks, I think "barf" is a woefully underused word in the English language, and I'm quite pleased to see that our dear Faith knows how to use it so effectively. ;-)