Daily Prompt · Mi Vida Loca · nonfiction · postaday · stories · Stories of my life · writing

Daily Prompt ~ Gimme

I hope everyone’s Christmas was a good one. If you don’t celebrate Christmas ¬†I hope you also got through these last few days well. Mine was on the quiet side, so I enjoyed it. I like quiet. There is way too little of it.

I did make Christmas dinner . Turkey, dressing, all that goes with it. Lot’s of leftovers though, as there was only three of us to eat it. But, I love turkey sandwiches, so no hardship there. ūüôā

So I’ve been sitting here wondering what to write today as I took yesterday off. Must have too many turkey fumes yet as I couldn’t think of a thing. Then I read the daily prompt and thought why not? I’ll give it a whirl.

The Daily Prompt was …..Gimme……Was there a special gift or toy you wanted as a child but never received? What was it?

Ah, yes. ¬†There was. ¬†So, let me set the scene. I have 3 siblings, a younger brother, one older sister and one older brother. I was kind of the middle child. My mother and I never got along much in those days. Hell, who am I kidding. We never get along much any days. We just got over another little hump this Christmas, but that’s for another story.

Anyway, I was fifteen, not really a child, but not yet ‘grown-up’ either. All three of my siblings had their own bikes. For years I had been asking for my own bike also. Otherwise, I hardly got to ride one, my siblings were not big on sharing, and mom always took their side, so hence I very rarely got to ride one. I always felt cheated. How come I was the only one without a bike??

I would ask for one on birthdays and Christmas. Every year I was disappointed yet again. The year I was fifteen, I told my Mom (again) I wanted a bike, that’s ALL I wanted. They didn’t have to get me anything else. Just a bike!

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I felt sure that year that I would get my own bike! I was so excited at Christmas time. I knew there was going to be a bike for me this time. I remember waking up Christmas Eve morning with this feeling of excitement deep in my belly. I made sure I was good all day. I helped Mom whenever she asked for it.  I mean, I did everything right that year! Or tried to.

In my family it was always tradition once us kids got bigger to open our presents Christmas Eve night. I don’t know why we did that, but we did. So of course we were all excited after supper and waited impatiently for Mom to say “Start opening them!” Now there was no bike under the tree, nothing really big wrapped hiding in a corner. I was all right with that, after all we had a basement, an attic too, maybe it was hidden there and Dad would get it soon.

Well, my Mom told us we could unwrap our gifts!  We all started passing around the gifts and opening them. Yes, I had a small pile of gifts to unwrap, but I kept looking for Dad to get the bike out of the basement! I kept watching and waiting, but to no avail. No bike again that Christmas. I was more disappointed than I had ever been. I felt sure that I was going to get one that year! I was positive! But, nope. Nothing, nada, zip.

I remembered I went to bed that night and silently cried myself to sleep. I don’t think I will ever forget that Christmas. Unfortunately I was usually disappointed at Christmas, especially my teenage years, as those were the worst years for getting along with Mom. But that one, well that one stuck with me the most.

Now, there is a shining light at the end of this story. My birthday is in September. My younger brother and I are 2 years and 2 days apart. My birthday is Sept. 12 his is the 14th. Now all the years we were growing up my brother and I had to ‘share’ a birthday. Usually it was on the 13th or his actual birthday the 14th. We shared a cake. We shared small family parties (if we had one), we shared birthdays. Which both of us thought sucked and wasn’t fair. But Mom, well she is who she is.

Except on my sixteenth birthday. Now that birthday was special. Because of what my Dad did. Bless his soul. ¬†My Mom actually refused to have anything to do with this one occasion, but again, that’s for another story.

That September, my Dad asked me after breakfast if I wanted to take a drive with him. It was on a Saturday, I remember that. My Dad usually did his errands on a Saturday, but his norm was to do them alone. It was a rare treat to go with Dad, he hardly ever asked one of ¬†us kids. Anyway, he asked me and of course I said yes. We drove for a while and he pulled into the Schwinn Bike shop. I was confused. I couldn’t understand why we were there. We walked in and started looking at all these shiny new Schwinn bikes! Oh wow! They were beautiful!

He casually asked me which one I liked. I think my jaw hit the ground. He asked me again. I pointed to a shiny red and white one. I liked that one! My dad talked to the owner of the store and told him it was my birthday and he wanted to buy that red and white girls Schwinn bike for me! Oh, how I wanted to cry right there and then. But didn’t dare as I was afraid it would have embarrassed¬†Dad.

It was a 3 speed and it was expensive! Schwinn’s back then were expensive, and my dad just bought me one. I was walking on cloud nine! I had that bike for many years. My Dad was always my hero! I miss you Daddy!

 

(I guess I can’t say I never received this gift. Because I did, just not for Christmas)

just like the one I got!
just like the one I got!
Mi Vida Loca · nonfiction · Stories of my life · Uncategorized · writing

5 best gifts anyone ever gave me

Yesterday’s post dealt with lists. The idea for today’s writing is in response to that posting. You can read it here. Name the 5 best gifts anyone ever gave me. This one stuck in my mind last night. I don’t know why, maybe I was feeling nostalgic. It sometimes amazes me how ¬†I get sappy and melancholy ¬†the closer my birthday gets. So the next 11 days I will be looking back more ¬†than I ¬†will be looking forward. Once that day has passed I will be back to my normal self. ¬†(whatever that is)

 

The first gift is not something material. It was from my high school English teacher. For the life of me I am sorry to say I can’t remember her name. I’ve always been terrible with names. But, in my mind’s eye I see her as if it was yesterday. ¬†She was a tiny, African-American woman. She had really short grey hair, and she always wore African dresses. They were always brightly colored and cheerful. They suited her very well. ¬†Every summer she would go to Africa to teach English to children who couldn’t afford to go to school. She did this for free. She did this because she loved teaching and she loved kids. She has always been my favorite teacher.

 

Her gift to me? It was confidence. Confidence in myself. Confidence in my writing skills, and  her belief that I could be a writer someday. How do  I know this? She told me herself. I will never forget that. In her way she blessed me.

 

Not only did she tell me if I worked at it I could become a fine writer. She kept all my English papers. The ones where our assignments were to write stories. She kept every single one! She explained to me that the reason she kept them was because she was working on her second book (the first being about her experiences in Africa). The second book had to do with her years of being an English teacher and some of her better students. She wanted my papers to show how story telling should be done! I was walking on cloud nine for weeks after she told me. I wasn’t use to praise, so when I did get it, it was a bit overwhelming!

 

The second best gift was a dog. It was my sixteenth birthday. My mother and I hadn’t been getting along, as usual. So I really never thought I would be getting anything special for my birthday. Hell, ¬†I didn’t think I would be getting anything! My parents had left early that morning (it was a Saturday). They never said where they were going. I never thought about it. Later that afternoon they came home. With them was the smallest, cutest Shih Tzu puppy I had ever seen! He was black and white and his little pink tongue stuck out of his cute flat face. I was instantly in love! He even had papers! He was a registered pure bred!

 

Shih-Tzu
Shih-Tzu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

My dad put him in my lap and said, “He’s yours. Happy Birthday.” I have to say that one gift was one of the best gifts in my life. He gave me unconditional love. I miss him to this day.

 

The third best gift is one I gave myself. The gift of freedom. The day I walked out on an abusive marriage. One of the best days of my life indeed!

 

The fourth gift would have to be friendship. The day I met one of the best friends of my life. Also probably the love of my life. He was a very special man. I met him shortly after my divorce. He gave me his friendship first and his love later. He was smart and funny and cute and compassionate.  We talked about everything and anything. Nothing was taboo.  He had one of the finest minds I ever knew. He gave me his undying friendship when I needed it so much.  He gave me his undying love when I finally could accept it. I miss him so much that my heart aches. He died of complications of diabetes much too  young.

 

The fifth gift. The fifth gift is a gift received and given. A gift of  forgiveness. The day several months after my father died. When a rare occasion happened. My mother called me here in Canada. She offered me the olive branch and I accepted. My mother and I have had a very stormy past. The year my father died we had not talked at all. She refused my  phone calls. But that day I forgave her, she forgave me. We moved on to be friends. Now  we talk at least once a week, sometimes more.

 

So there are 5 of the best gifts I have been given. What are yours?