We just got back from a beautiful vacation spent on the shores of the Mexican Rivera. It was amazing. We swam, played, and splashed our troubles away. I had such a great time. I had a really difficult time leaving! The trip was so fantastic that I am going to have to write about it in pieces!
The first piece was actually the end of the trip. It was my last experience before leaving Mexico:
Our resort was cash-less. We had a room key, which doubled as our account, and we charged any expenses to the room. It was not until the end of the trip that I opened an ornately decorated box, containing a generous gift...
My friend is crafty. Crafty, and generous. Crafty, generous, and amazing. She was also the first person I called when we found out we would not be moving to Salt Lake. I needed her support, and I knew she would have the right words, or at least have the right ideas, she is gifted with being able to lend perspective. She and her husband are brilliant and have picked me up before, surely, it would work again.
This time, more than just encouraging words, I received a care package. In the care package (it was addressed to "Super Team Lyle") were streamers, an audio CD, toys, socks, and this little box I had mentioned above. While playing the CD, and watching the boys open their toys, I examined this box. It was unique in shape and it looked like it was wearing a hula skirt. The box matched the decorative streamers, and had been hand-crafted. I love boxes, and I knew my friend did too, and her beautiful gift tickled my heart.
I opened the box.
Inside, was money.
Not just money, but folded money, and a lot of it.
I closed the lid and tears fell.
I felt so blessed.
My friend offered me a distraction. She offered me a chance to spend money on my vacation, without worry, without fear, and without a cloud over my head. She offered me uplifting music (the CD has a permanent home in my kitchen player, and has been there for a month), offered the kids a chance to smile, and offered me a breath.
I did not open the box again.
Kurt saw it, and felt the same way I did. We couldn't take the money out, it was just too perfect in the box. So, we brought the box with us to Mexico.
Back to being cash-less...
Our resort didn't necessitate us to use the beautiful gift. We kept it with us, but it wasn't necessary. My parents had paid for the airfare, the villa, the groceries, and most of the meals- so really, money wasn't an issue.
But that last day...
Kurt was holding the baby and keeping the boys at bay near our gate at the terminal. I was hungry, and wanted to grab a snack. I peered into my carry-on and saw the box.
I pulled the box out, and examined it with fresh eyes.
We were going to be boarding soon. If I wanted something, I would need to get it. I looked at Kurt, who was distracting Seraphina, and I knew if I interrupted him it would likely result in a breakdown (on my baby's part, not Kurt's, haha!), so I decided to open the box and use some of the money (yes, the airport in Cancun is happy to take US dollars!).
I lifted the lid, and was flooded. I felt like I opened my own version of Pandora's box. The thoughts and feelings overcame me, like waves crashing into the spaces of my being.
Home is Iowa.
Vacation is over.
It will be cold.
It will be grey.
I have assignments due for school.
My parents are already hundreds of miles away.
The kids all need me.
The distractions are over.
The world has kept turning.
What are we going to do........
I felt so overwhelmed. I wanted to cry, but I kept it together. I quickly closed the lid.
I chose my snack, and made selections for the rest of the family too. I went to the cashier. She smiled and spoke Spanish. I smiled back and looked at the total on the screen. I opened the box. I removed enough cash for the transaction.
Funny thing about intricately placed folded money: in order to use it, you must remove and unfold it.
I touched the bills, and the moment I did, waves of comfort washed over me.
I was taken to my friend. In my mind I could see myself sitting next to her. I could see her, very clearly, working on this box: folding these bills, and putting love into every single cut, fold, paste, and placement that went into this gift. I could see her selecting the perfect songs for my CD. I could see her pour her love for us into this great work. I felt her thoughts and prayers, I felt her love.
I just wanted to take a moment and say thank-you to my friend. This thoughtful gift, this beautiful creation, has really been a light in a very dark place. I wish I could articulate the thought that went into this - from the clever addressing to the fun kind of tape used - this was thought through from start to finish. There is something breathtaking about a labor of love, and I can tell that is exactly what this was.
We still have the box. We will always have it, I am sure. It is beautiful, and represents so much to me.
Thank you, to my thoughtful crafter of loving magic, you truly are amazing.