This weekend we had a birthday celebration for one of ours.
My brother-in-law, Todd, turned 28 on the 28th. So fun, right? We made all of his favorite meals from growing up and listened to rock and roll. Dad even did a little air guitar and reminisced on his glory days of a garage band he had in the early 70s.
Although he carries a different last name, he is one of our own.
We ate dinner, told stories, and belly laughed the whole time. We made birthday brownies and Todd blew out the candles. Let’s be real here, even if you’re turning 90, every one needs candles to blow out on their birthday.
My husband got a gift for Todd, and to be completely honest, it was one that I was a little embarrassed to give. It was an X-men arch-angel figurine… like seriously? Cody, my husband, assured me that it was something that could be cool for Todd to get and be able to share with our newest nephew one day.
So I agreed and was a perfect wife in letting my husband purchase this gift. 🙂
The candles were blown out and present time was pursuing us. So, Cody got up from the table and hands Todd his birthday gift in a crumpled up bag he found under the bed in my parents guest room… to say we were unprepared is an understatement.
Cody’s letter, written on an index card, said “I hope your 28th year gives you everything you ever wanted. Happy Birthday! Love, Cody and Laura.”
I felt my heart race, a little nervous at the reaction to such a silly gift. I mean what 28 year old wants an X-men figurine?
Todd opened the present and completely stopped. He wouldn’t look up, he wouldn’t speak, he just stared at his figurine in complete silence. The room was so silent that all I could hear was my heart beat, and every second of silence my heart raced louder and louder.
“I mean, it’s okay if you don’t like it man” Cody said nervously.
“Yeah, Todd, it really is okay, Cody just thought it would be cool.” I said as I felt my heart beat in my throat.
Todd finally looked up and Cody and said “How did you remember?”
You see, months ago, Todd jokingly told Cody a story of Christmas when he was a boy. He recalled being a spoiled child growing up. He said there was never a Christmas where he did not get what he asked for. One particular Christmas, I believe when he was 6-years-old, Todd wanted the X-men arch-angel figurine. He says “Don’t get me wrong, I loved every single present I ever got, but I really wanted that arch-angel.” Todd seemed to recall that he never forgot that Christmas.
But Cody never forgot that conversation.
The initial idea of the gift was so silly, but what made that gift special was the moment that Todd opened it and realized that he was known. Todd, in those long moments of silence, recognized that this new family he married really did know him, they listened to him, they want only the best for him.
Isn’t it amazing? The way we feel when we realize that someone remembered something important to us? What seemed stupid to everyone else, means the world to you?
When you have that moment, the moment where someone remembers, don’t forget to pass it on.
That God of ours. The one that created us, He knows us best. Better than any other creature on earth. Be known by Him, and learn to know others too.