THE BEST GIFTS
By Joseph J. Mazzella
I had yet another birthday recently. It is strange how they keep popping
up year after year. They must come from the same place as the grey hairs
and wrinkles, because each year I seem to have more of them too. Still, as
my body gets older and older my soul seems to get younger and younger, so
I don’t mind celebrating a birthday now and then.
For some reason this one seemed especially good. It may have been the
chocolate cake and chocolate chip ice cream that made both my face and my
stomach smile. It may have been the good natured teasing and hugs I got.
It may have been seeing that childlike sparkle in my grown children’s eyes
when they gave me my gifts. It may have even been the thoughtful gifts
themselves picked out with such care. I think most of all, though, it was
the gifts behind the gifts that filled my day with so much joy. You see,
each gift was filled with the love of the person who gave it. Each gift
was a package of love delivered from their heart to mine and each gift
made my own love burn brighter.
The more birthdays I celebrate in this life, the more I see that love is
really the only thing that matters. The parties you have, presents you
get, or years you age aren’t important. All that counts is how much love
you choose, share, and give in this world, because love itself is the
greatest gift there is.
God in His loving wisdom has given each of us the two best gifts we can
ever get: a life to live and the love to live it with. Let’s not waste
them. Let’s not put them on a shelf and ignore them. Let’s use them
instead. Let’s fill each of our birthdays and all the days in between with
loving others, helping others, giving to others, teaching others, and
sharing joy with others. Let’s truly enjoy these gifts God gives us from
our first breath until our last sigh.