One day, several years ago just after my grandpa passed away, my grandma and I were upstairs in his old office sorting through boxes and papers. His absence was still fresh in my mind as I came across pictures and old notes written in his handwriting. The house seemed different without him in it, yet my grandma managed to carry on the warm, welcoming atmosphere for the both of them. I still don’t know how she does it.
“Oh my goodness, Elizabeth,” I heard my grandma say as she pulled out a package from a disheveled pile on the desk. “Look at this.” She held up the object. It was a box set of Hank Williams Sr. CDs. I took the CDs and looked them over, wondering what the significance could be. I looked up and waited for her to explain.
She said that once, a long time ago, her and grandpa saw a commercial on TV advertising the Hank William’s box set. Grandma had mentioned how much she liked his songs. Several days later, the same commercial came on and Grandpa asked her, “Wouldn’t you like to have that?” Grandma had replied, not catching the hint in his voice, “Oh, now wouldn’t that be a silly thing to get me!”
And now upon finding the package, she realized the present had already been purchased, shipped, but never given. Rather tucked away in the office for fear it would not please his sweetheart after all. She told the story with a smile and a little laugh between phrases, I suspected to keep the sadness from showing. But I also suspect those CDs turned out to be a desired and cherished gift after all.