Thoughts on life from Pat Oaks
The gift that keeps on giving
I have heard this phrase my whole life. I think I understand it better today than I ever have in the past.
We recently tore down the mobile home we have had for about 35 years. It was time. Since we are living in Knoxville, I had double of some items like sheets and pillow cases. I had a pillow case in Knoxville that didn’t have a mate. I hated it because I really like the pillow case. I just assumed the guys had left it somewhere in all their travels. When I packed up our tailer stuff, I found the mate! I brought it home and told Tommy I was glad I had found it and why.
Many years ago I taught music in a school that still had all 8 grades. Since I taught every student in the school, I really “racked up” at Christmas. I always went home with a haul. Most teachers only got gifts from their one class. I got them from 3 classes per grade…8 grades! It took me several trips to my car when I went home for Christmas break.
Every now and then, I would get a present that the student, or the student’s parent, had put some time and effort into. The pillow cases are one example. They were hand made and carefully and beautifully stitched. I have carried those pillow cases through moves too numerous to mention. They have withstood who knows how many washings. I wonder just how many heads have laid down upon them. I like to think they lulled some to sleep smelling of the out of doors where I always used to dry my pillow cases and sheets.
Tommy asked me if I remembered the student, but sadly, after 53 years, I do not. I wish though, that somewhere out there, a Mother might read this, and remember sitting up at night carefully cross-stitching a set of pillow cases for Miss Combs. I would like to think she remembered that I loved her child and tried to teach him or her to love music as much as I did, and do.
I expect these pillow cases will be here long after I am gone. I hope that the next person who puts them on a bed will look at them and appreciate the effort that went into making them. It makes me want to put more thought into gifts I give.
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