“My mama?”

I’m getting married in a week. (Oh my God.) To a wonderful man who was married before to a beautiful, wonderful woman who was taken from him and their daughter (my daughter) too soonAnd today is her birthday.

(Before you clutch your pearls and judge me about our wedding date, I’d like you to try to come up with a better one in this situation. Go on. I’m waiting.)

I’ve been moving my stuff into his house one carload at a time. Today was winter clothes, which required a reorganization of the guest room closet, primarily used now for gift bags and wrapping paper. 

My attitude towards presents is that Amazon.com has a gift option. And anything that I can’t get there probably doesn’t need to be bought and if it absolutely positively does, there is $.99 wrapping paper at Target that I can promptly throw away.

As I was going through them and putting them in a single box instead of spread all across the room like they have been since I attempted to wrap gifts last Christmas, my first thought was “We probably really don’t need all these bags. I don’t even KNOW this many people and I certainly don’t want to give them all gifts.”

But then I realized that the gift bags- so many, and for so many different occasions, actually perfectly illustrated what kind of woman Rachel was. I didn’t know her (if I had, I’d give you free rein to clutch your pearls), but I know her family, and her friends, and stories about her. And she was the kind of woman who not only of course had the right kind of gift bag for every occasion, but had friends whom she loved and such a generous spirit that she could fill them. And that, on her birthday, a rather crappy day otherwise in this almost-household (yes, we get sad. Sometimes really sad. Even the week before our wedding), made me really happy and peaceful. 

So the gift bags got placed back in the closet. Whenever I use them, I’ll think about Eva’s wonderful mama. And I’ll try to emulate the giving spirit of the amazing woman who made my husband and my daughter the people they are. 

Of course, it’ll probably be 20 years before they’re used up. Because again, I have very few friends. 

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