I want to share a story with you about a beautiful gift I received this Christmas. But, first, I will tell you a little of the backstory
My grandmother was the 'original Inspirista'. She always had a smile on her face, loved with her whole heart, and danced up until her lungs wouldn't allow her to anymore.
She had lots of friends, many of which were much younger than she. And, whenever her girlfriends would come by her house and the chit chat would turn to complaining about this or that, my Grandma Millie would listen for a few moments, and then turn on her dancing flowers, and say, "C'mon ladies, enough of that talk!"
And then they would all get up and dance!
My Grandma Millie and I were very close - she had such a huge impact on my life. I wrote about her in my book, and I even shared the 'dancing flowers' story. I miss her every day.
My grandmother loved Christmas, especially Christmas Eve. She would have us all over her house, and she would serve her famous lasagna and baked chicken, we'd open presents, and spend the night just having fun together as a family. My mother has carried on my Grandma Millie's tradition, and I have to admit, it's hard not to think about her on Christmas Eve.
For the adults, we do a grab bag, so each family member gets a gift, something to open. This year, I opened a special card from my Uncle Paul - that would have been enough because the message was so touching. But, then, when I unwrapped the box, opened the top, and looked down, my eyes started to play tricks on me - dancing flowers - my grandmother's dancing flowers were in the box!!
I could hardly believe it when Uncle Paul told me they were hers - the ones I wrote about in my book, the flowers that I always think of and can literally hear singing in my head whenever I feel like complaining. My eyes immediately welled with tears.
You know, I thought about why the gift touched me so much. Having this very special piece of my memories of my grandmother now again with me in my home is incredible. And, what also hit me, was the simple beauty of my voice being heard.
I think we all have a voice (our voice is the way we express ourselves and our love), and the way we express our individual voices is unique. Some people create stuff - jewelry, artwork, homes, songs, pies, you get my drift - and that is how they use their voice. When we appreciate or recognize what someone has created, it's kind of like acknowledging their voice. Listening to and hearing someone is an act of love.
Where is your voice? How do you express it?
My voice is in written words. When I was younger I wrote poetry, but now I write on my blog, or in my journal, or in this case, in a book. My Uncle taking the time to read my words and remember the stories made me feel heard and loved.
So, my challenge for myself and for you today is to 'hear' the people around us. What are they saying?
Acknowledge their voices. Listen with your heart and connect with theirs.
That really is the most beautiful gift we can give each other - after all, isn't this what life is all about?
Enjoy this amazing day.