“Keep all special thoughts and memories for lifetimes to come. Share these keepsakes with others to inspire hope and build from the past, which can bridge to the future.”
~ Mattie Stepanek
The holidays are always a time for memories, making them and sharing them. My newest excitement and wonderful Christmas memory 2016 is my new granddaughter. I’ve been posting about her for weeks. There will be more…lots more!
I’ve wanted to share another story of an amusing nature. Many of my close friends and family already know this story, but my new friends may not have heard this.
The story of Mr. Dan’s dead wife…It started four years ago when I got a call from an artist friend of mine. She said that an elderly gentleman had called her art studio looking for an artist who might be able to paint on china or porcelain. She told me, “Every year, for the past forty years, this gentleman has had a special Christmas keepsake painted by a local artist for his wife. She has passed away, but he wants to continue the tradition of having a personalized gift painted. I know you paint on glass. Do you paint on porcelain?”
Well, I heard this story and it melted my heart. This poor man has lost his wife, but he wants to continue having a gift made for her. How sweet. I said I’d call him and see if I could help. I met with Mr. Dan, and he brought a few examples of small white vases and trinket boxes delicately painted with bluebonnets. On the bottom it said, To Sue~Love Dan with the date.
I love to paint bluebonnets, so I agreed to take on the challenge. The hardest part was finding a small white item to paint. I scoured antique shops, stores, and thrift shops, looking for just the right piece for this sentimental man. I found an antique covered box, painted bluebonnets, and dated the bottom with the enscription. I then called Mr. Dan to give him his memorial gift for his deceased wife. We met at Chicken Express and I gave him the box. He loved it and said, “Thank you so much. How much do I owe you?” I told him there was no charge. It was my pleasure to make something special for him. Then he said, “Sue is at her sister’s house, so I’ll be able to sneak this in without her seeing the surprise.”
What??? Sue wasn’t dead??? Ah!!! I sat there a minute when he left, while I figured out the story. My friend had said, a local artist had painted a gift for Dan’s wife. He wanted to continue the tradition, even though she passed away. Oh! The artist passed away, not Sue. I’m glad I didn’t tell Mr. Dan that I thought his wife was dead.
Now, every year, this sweet gentleman calls me early December and asks if I’ll be able to paint a gift for him. I always say yes, and I scour shops again looking for the perfect item to paint. And I smile, glad that Sue is not dead and Dan has another year with his wonderful wife.
This year, I found this cute covered heart-shaped container. I even painted a small white box with matching flowers.
As our tradition, I met Mr. Dan at the outdoor patio of the Chicken Express, and I gave him his gift. Every year, he pulls out his wallet and asks “How much do I owe you?” I always say, “It’s my pleasure, and all I need is a hug.” We hugged, and Mr. Dan walked back to his truck a happy man, and I walked back to my car knowing that I’d done something special for a sweet gentleman at Christmas time.