As each day unfolds, we know we are preparing for tougher times ahead from the medical prognosis my husband is facing. As a family we try each and every day to come to grips with the fact that there is nothing we can do to assist, carry, protect, rearrange, or change the path he must walk in due time. It's a very painful thing, a serious family issue often gripping our jugulars when least expected.
I didn’t want to share this special moment with anyone until now, not really because it’s so very emotional for me (tears fill my eyes just typing about it), but my hope is if it blesses someone else into action, thank you Lord for allowing me the courage to share it.
As Father's Day approached this year, thoughts on how we could offer a gift from the heart (we aren’t usually material gift givers on the Hallmark holidays the calendar days specify, just observe them well instead with great honor), one that would become cherished and even vital during a recovery period, something almost ...irreplaceable if you will. We wanted something tangible, something that would bless everyone in the end (big shoes to fill I know), and not just a material twaddle-like possession grown tired of with the passing of time.
From our son and his wife, they knew we love flowers!
As our family has come to terms with the future, and our move has taken us to eastern parts of our country at a strange time, or was it? God knows this walk we’re on already; we trust he knows what he’s doing. If anything else, the move has convinced all of us of the need to keep the communications alive, open, and plentiful.
Each adult family member for instance with a cell phone has chosen the option of adding Telus' Five Favs to their telephone plans, or subscribed to a telephone long distance plan for making telephone calls when a longer conversation is overdue. Technology today is incredible to allow a family to remain close at heart, although perhaps not in distance. Emailing of course is a no brainer, and our children gave us a webcam before moving so we could see one another while conversing together at appointed times.
Lunch/Brunch is served
Last Sunday, Father's Day became a fairly emotional and tender hearted day around here. After a nutritious brunch, all were summoned to the patio deck, where my husband was presented with new photos of the children in various poses. One of the chosen ones was framed; the other will be inserted into a frame he already possesses on his desk at work. That was a fun photo to have showing the family's enthusiastic love of ice hockey, all wearing their ice hockey jerseys of the Vancouver Canucks.
For the office desk and the barbeque cookouts
He was also gifted with a new barbeque marinade set and then he was handed a note with an explanation for the next gift. It was a tender moment for me, as emotions quickly overwhelmed me and I became unable to look his way any longer, hiding behind the lens of my camera instead. Wet tears smeared my mascara, I just couldn’t help it.
Emotions began to stir
What better things can there be than memories made within a family surrounded by the love of Christ, in fact the most cherished and purposeful legacy one can leave behind when their time is done here on this earth. I believe a family needs all these things to gather during the "harvest" over time, and then to treasure forever more. We chose a gift with huge possibilities for the future, that of an IPod touch for my husband and our children's daddy.
Realizing the value in his hands already
Each family member joined in this particular gift idea by contributing towards the cost, or the content. Teamwork will always be at the forefront and helm of such a gift, mostly because everyone can continue to contribute to it in a tangible way over time. Admittedly, this was an emotional gift filled with sincere sentiment and I know he will value and treasure the intentions of family members over the coming days, weeks and months, only HE just doesn’t know it yet like we do!! Of course our married son present announced to his wife he wanted one of those too! Cute.
And then, our daughter in law sneaked a few recipe ingredients into the house and carefully crafted the most delicious and super scrumptious tiramisu dessert and presented it to the fathers present, her husband (our son) and mine. What a sweetie, as it was my husband’s very favourite dessert ever!
She was so sweet to sneak in this special dessert this day.
It was a great day for all, a highlight for me to have everyone near. Emotions always begin to stir when loved ones are "seen", or "heard" and time stands still as the recollected details are remembered from those before us.
- Photos are without doubt natural treasures with the heartfelt emotion evoked from them.
- Kind and uplifting words of affection sent within an email can create major events in someone's life
- Music can fill a soul with a peace that surpasses all understanding
A FABULOUS GIFT IDEA TIP TO PASS ALONG!
One might ask why such a thing was thought of, and it is here where I would encourage anyone in the cyberworld to think on the following reasons to pass along to someone that may benefit from such an individual or group intentional purchase, especially if you know of anyone who;
- lay bedridden
- a soldier overseas or away from family
- someone who is very lonely with family far away
- someone thick within a medical pre-surgical or eventual long term recovery mode
- or perhaps some other reason such as a shut in
- medically challenged
- a pregnant women ordered off her feet.
An IPod touch can offer the following options to bless them;
- Music galore. Make up folders and genres to suit mental and emotional outlook moments during any given day.
- Photos, Photos, and more Photos! With screen savor mode, these handy and very personal sized devices can sit on the edge of a desk, a hospital rolling table, or in the hands of something valuing the moments watching their loves ones close to their hearts.
- Program your screen saver to advance on your own timing settings along with music for a personal video whenever enjoyed. Add a shuffle mode to keep spice it up and keep it fresh.
- Videos! Think "family videos" as more and more people have access or have purchased a digital camera. Instant video footage is possible for uploading onto these devices and can offer someone immediate voice and film footage recognition of loved ones to cherish.
- Email! What better way to keep in touch with someone who is not within their own home or not near a computer? With email capabilities, anyone can "be there" with messages of love, or just pure conversation.
- Podcasts! The sky is the limit here! Does your parish offer taped or internet uploaded sermons? Those conference talks not heard because someone was unable to attend, or favorite daily radio programs.
- Books on tape -Dust off all your books on tape, load them onto your computer and get them onto your IPod, at least all those you have stored and haven't yet listened to. ITunes offers many assorted items to download for a fee, including podcasts, interviews, videos and more. Try doing a search for your particular area of interest. As an example, I could type in Catholic and find downloadable chaplets and so much more.
- Other types of Photos or images! As we follow along with the Liturgical year month after month, why not remember to do so on the IPod as well. Gather photos, images or special programs off the internet, and upload to your device. Great idea for a screen saver change upon occasion.
- YouTube / Catholic Tube / GodTube- (Did you know all of these existed? Take a look!) Does someone have a favorite hobby, something of interest, or a television program to catch up on? This website offers a plethora of items from crafts, cooking shows, sports, fun stories, you name it, it's probably there. Great resource for anything, especially apologetics and uplifting programming. How about watching daily mass in progress, or programs of interest spiritually. Archbishop Fulton Sheen is a favorite for me, as are conference talks from homeschooling weekends not in attendance for. I miss my Seattle education conferences!
- Other valuable items? How about internet access, local weather, check business favorites such as stocks and bonds, watch movies downloaded from purchased websites, and so much more.
Best of all?
- It's light, easy to hold, or use a stand to prop up on a nightstand, or on a hospital table.
- When turning the item from vertical to horizontal, the screen actually rotates to offer a landscaped larger view.
- There are no buttons or dials to figure out, just "touch".
As well, many other family members can assist by offering continued photos, music and/or videos to keep it fresh or increase the content. As well, when thinking of a gift idea, there's nothing easier than a gift card for ITunes, or some other place on the internet to purchase items of interest for the recipient. So, if you want to contribute, send along a disk of photos or other items of interest and I'll be sure to get it all uploaded for him to have forever.
The potential is limitless and even almost physically adrenalizing from the possibilities it offers, and when the lucky recipient becomes familiar with the possibilities themselves, they too become very excited when at one time or another; they used to humbug the whole idea of getting "plugged in". Rather than tuning someone out, they can bring them right to their ears, eyes and heart with the touch of a screen fitting securely in the palm of their hand. How sweet is that?
Happy Father's Day to my teenage boyfriend who still makes my heart skip a beat after all these years. Anyone can be a father - but only some know how to be a dad... YOU are most definitely a cherished daddy and granddad to all!
And to our fathers too, we love you!