Not Only My Heart — I Gave Him the Sky

Believing that fulfillment comes from experiences, relationships, and good health, Len and I don’t typically exchange gifts.

Recently he made me a beautiful breakfast of heart-shaped blueberry pancakes and delivered it on a tray before I got out of bed.

I filled a pail of water to catch the reflection of the sky and gave it to him — wishing him, a pilot, a lifetime of safe flight as he soars through “his” sky.


What’s the most meaningful non-material gift you’ve ever received?



64 thoughts on “Not Only My Heart — I Gave Him the Sky

  1. What a good question Laurie! I am sitting here thinking and the latest memorable non material gift I received was likely when my son picked up a painting for me on the west side of Vancouver. The painting was returning to my studio after a stint in an auction. I said I hoped it wasn’t to far out of his way because I didn’t know exactly where the address was in relation to anything else. If so, I would catch a ferry and come get it.

    He replied “Mom no place in West Van is too far out of my way or too much trouble at the end of my work day. I will get it for you.”

    And he did.

  2. Laurie, Such a lovely post. Bill and I don’t exchange gifts either, feeling that the love we have for each other is gift enough. The best gifts for me have always been unexpected hugs, smiles, laughter and deep listening. Hope you have a wonderful day.

  3. My whole work life is my gift. I have rarely been paid, and have just seen something that needs to be accomplished and rolled up my sleeves and did it. My center is to work towards Justice and peace.
    Liked your gift very much ! Thank you for sharing

  4. When my lease was up on my old studio, my friend is a Broker for buildings.He came with a yellow pad of paper and interviewed me asking if money were not the barrier describe the best studio and most ideal setting that I could best serve others from. He figured out my personality from the interview and drove me around to places I would have never dreamed based upon my awareness I could have. I ended up with the one with the spiral staircase to a penthouse with a glassed in workshop. The gift is he looked at 3 years worth of checks from my last place which was half the price and still got me approved to be in my dream studio. The gift was someone just seeing me for me and not how I looked on the status quo world’s paper. This opened the door to me taking more responsibility in life. I really enjoyed all of your gifts you all are sharing.

  5. One Mother’s Day my daughter Heather filled a jacuzzi bath tub with sweet smelling salts and lit candles all around. She kept her brothers out of the house so I could have peace and quiet. As I got in the tub there was a bottle floating with a letter inside telling me all the nice things I’ve done for her and all the reasons she loves me and why she feels so loved by me. It was the BEST gift I ever received!!

  6. Amazingly beautiful!
    The most meaningful non-material gift I’ve received? A recent e-mail from my husband with only the words “I love you”.

  7. I spent a month and a half caring for my mom before she died.
    One day, she said, “I’ve always loved you. But over these past weeks I’ve got to know you as a friend. And I really like you.”
    Those words have remained with me for fifteen years–and are the most meaningful non-material gift I’ve ever received.

  8. I spent a month and a half caring for my mom before she died.
    One day, she said, “I’ve always loved you. But over these past weeks I’ve got to know you as a friend. And I really like you.”
    Those words have remained with me for fifteen years–and are the most meaningful non-material gift I’ve ever received.

  9. My grandmother, and mother’s hard work and determination. Through their selfless sacrifice, they have given me a good life to appreciate and to honor them with the same selfless regard for my own daughters.

  10. My favorite gift was from a classroom of kindergarteners at the end of the school year for being their room mother. While it was an object ( a cotton bag)… it was what they created on it that was so special. Each child dipped their index finger in blue paint and then created a bluebonnet (the state flower of Texas) by strategically pressing their paint coated finger onto the bag. On the other side of the bag they each printed their name…in kindergarten fashion. It’s a treasure that I still carry to and from work with loose papers. Love it.

  11. This is surely one of the most beautiful and meaningful posts you’ve ever treated your readers to Laurie, and that is really saying something! Len’s gift to you and yours to him are just magnificent, and need no further embellishment. The news that Lucille’s recent health scare turned out to be her gall bladder -which was subsequently removed- was relief and joy incarnate. It was a gift like none other, and news that brought incomparable happiness. But there are a number of other non-material gifts that mean more to me than anything of worth or value.

  12. Beautiful~~I love this! Have had so many beautiful non-material gifts just this past week. Too many to count. Oh, want to know something funny? On Saturday I was showing the kids my homemade cards, especially one that turned out to be an utter failure. “Who should I send this to? Guess one of you kids will get it…” We all laughed examining the awful card. On Sunday I opened my birthday gifties and cards and guess what? They had given ME the failure card for my birthday! I laughed until I cried. May just have to keep recycling this card and sending it around to them. It may turn out to be the a “success” card!

  13. What beautiful gifts you exchanged. Sometimes when I get home from work too tired to lift a leg, my husband takes my bucket and fills it hot water form the kitchen and sends it straight to the kitchen to bath. He also normally does the ironing for me so my work dresses are always clean and straight with no creases and winkles. 🙂

  14. that is INCREDIBLE!!!! the best immaterial gift I’ve received, I think, was the look on my 3 year old nephew’s face (he was 2 at the time) when I was staying with my sister’s family for a week. Each morning as I was drinking coffee he would come up and tug on my arm and say, Aunt Vic, Aunt Vic, you want to come to my playroom with me?”

    You can’t put a price on something like that!

    • Victoria – I’m glad this post resonated with you. I love the example you shared of your 3-year-old nephew clearly wanting you, You, YOU! Now THAT’S gotta be a great feeling 🙂

  15. Wow… Laurie… That is the most creative non-material gift ever. I absolutely LOVE it. And I love getting to that extra layer of your gift to see the gorgeous reflection & its symbolic meaning (at first, one thinks it’s ‘only’ a bucket filled with water).

  16. My lovely wife and I recently celebrated our ten year anniversary. The budget has been tight of late, no extravagant gifts, which was just fine for us. A walk, hand in hand, watching our son play with some friends was more than enough for us. 🙂

  17. lovely! ever so lovely! yes…being with one another…sharing moments…listening…these are the gifts of the heart…how beautiful your relationship! I am going to reblog this…it is so wonderful!

  18. The best non-material gift I’ve ever received is when my parents let me go to abroad all by myself to pursue my dream. I know it’s hard for them to let me go because they will miss me so much yet they know it’s what I really want.

  19. While Lord Sri Rama in his childhood days crying for Moon, his mother Queen Kaikeya, showed the Moon in a Mirror and gifted the same .
    as you did now
    very worthful gift
    with regards

  20. There are a zillion non-material gifts that have come my way over the years so it’s very difficult to pick one over the others, but one that pops into my head is how our (adult) children flocked around us when Tim had his heart-attack. They lovingly took care of us and our every need for weeks – I still get teary-eyed when I think about it.

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