Recently, a friend of mine gave me a new book by an author I had recently shared with her. It wasn’t a special occasion for me – not a birthday, Christmas or other gift-inspiring day – it was just a regular day – or so I thought.
The book was not gift wrapped but hand-delivered by my friend. There was no card – but what she said to me wouldn’t have been in any pre-printed card and probably would have been difficult for her to write out.
As she handed me my gift, she thanked me for the gift she had received from me – a gift I had not realized I had given to her. She told me that because I had shared this new author with her as well as a couple of others, she had been able to share something new and different with her father who loved books and was dying. My gift to her had become a gift to both her and her father – they had spent many hours enjoying their new ‘friends’ and discussing all of the new plots and characters in their lives. My friend thanked me for the gift of having wonderful conversations with her father before he died – conversations where they laughed, they discussed and they loved. The book she gave me had been bought for her father, but he had not had the chance to read it and share it with my friend, his beloved daughter.
As I read my new gift, I will remember my friend and her father – and her unintentional gift to me. On a day when I was doubting myself and my ability to cope with everything around me, she gave me something that many of us never fully realize – she gave me the gift of realizing that I do make a difference in this world and that it is the small things – like a book – that make a difference in people’s lives.