How many times have you received something from someone with the apology ‘it’s just a little something, but I wanted to get you something nice, something that reminded me of you’. We actually believe that it’s the ‘little somethings’ that are big gifts because they come straight from the heart.
For birthdays, my Mum always used to send members of our family a card with a handkerchief inside. The men folk received handkerchiefs with monogrammed initials. Monogrammed handkerchiefs were super popular in the 1960’s and would often be seen popping up out of the top of suit pockets (hankies were always the real deal then, none of this fake hankie nonsense.) They were kind of like this photograph – although Mum always got the ones with just the initials (much more elegant than including the birth date.)
The women received either delicately embroidered floral hankies or a complete granny print number as Mum was really fond of flowers, especially pansies (with their happy faces). The women’s hankies looked a lot like this:
The children’s ones were always delightful and often featured bunnies, like in the photo below, or else little nursery characters called John and Mary.
I still have some of Mum’s beautiful ‘little somethings’ and though the colours have faded, the affection with which they were given has probably increased with time since Mum died almost 16 years ago. I still miss getting my hankie cards.
On that note, here is an interesting and very comforting story on death/passing on. Call it what you will, it’s an invevitable and very hard part of life so we need to take comfort where we can. Spiritual folk call events like the one I’m going to describe to you ‘signs’ – see what you make of this.
So, Mum left us on a Monday and my brother had a 40th birthday party on the Saturday. Somewhere during that mad/sad week I bought him a trendy canvas and leather backpack from a stylish outdoor-enthusiast store. Not really the kind of store you expect to stock handkerchiefs. Once I had paid for the gift and was leaving the store the woman who served me suddenly said, ‘Oh wait, there’s just one more thing I have to give you, I think you would really like it.’
She went away and brought me back a lovely tartan handkerchief. This really made me smile and take heart, take comfort. This ‘little something’ was actually a huge something. Here is a photograph of this special hankie:
Just a few years later my father passed on. We attended the funeral and were driving back from the cemetery when a friend rang me on my cell phone. She lived on a remote farm and was upset that she had been unable to attend the funeral. She said she wanted to meet us in town and that she had something to give us.
So my husband and I met her by the Taihape Post Office – Taihape is our hometown. She gave us her condolences and, I kid you not, a beautiful lacy, monogrammed handkerchief.
You’re smiling right? This is all true and really the message of this story is never underestimate the power of a ‘little’ thing. My patron saint Therese was big on this theory, so much so in fact that she inspired Mother Theresa to take her name and emulate her style.
These women really knew that the little things are the important things, the everlasting-love things. And you know what’s really great? Each and every one of us alive know has the chance do lots of great little things.
Lots of love from Cathie XX