“Your stories are a gift,” she said. “A gift for all those who don’t yet have the courage to tell their own stories. And for all those that never will.”
And, as I listened to each person’s story – stories that made me laugh, stories that made me cry, stories that made me think “I know exactly how that feels,” and stories that made me think, “I hope I never have to know how that feels” – this idea of our stories being a gift kept coming back to me.
The perfectionist in me wants every gift to be well-planned, personalized, the perfect thing at the perfect time. All wrapped up in the perfect paper. With a Martha Stewart bow.
The kiddo has never made a Martha Stewart bow. He’s never wrapped anything in perfect paper. His presents to me sometimes come with the worst possible timing – like every time he’s handed me a hand-picked bouquet of dandelions, sap pouring out onto my already-full hands, no water or vase in sight, with the expectation that I will love and cherish these weeds for all eternity. And, while I can’t say I haven’t surreptitiously “replanted” those dandelions, the gift was no less loved.
Maybe gifts don’t have to be perfect. Maybe the best gifts are the ones that are slightly flawed, but given with love.
And so it will be that I will offer my words as a gift on Mother’s Day this year. My messy, jumbled, heartfelt words. They will be so imperfectly perfect.
Listen To Your Mother is happening in 24 cities on or near Mother’s Day. What a gift to mothers everywhere.