I received ten dollars in a birthday card last week. Except it wasn't my birthday. One of my aunts had put the money in Mom's birthday card along with a note instructing her to give it to me.
I found it quite a remarkable gesture. Especially considering this is an aunt I rarely see, Mom's eldest sister, who is widowed and has ten kids and umpteen grandkids of her own, not to mention twenty or so nieces and nephews. Yet here she is sending a note and ten bucks to her thirtysomething nephew she sees on Decoration Day, sometimes Christmas, and maybe another time or two during the year at most.
It really affected me.
It made me think about the alarming rate of the passing of time, and how I need to make more of an effort to see family and loved ones more often.
I thought about my grandmother, how almost eerily similar she and my aunt are, and how so many of her good qualities were obviously passed on.
I thought about how excited I would have been years ago, when I was in high school, or college even, to get ten bucks in a card.
Then I thought about how today, ten dollars won't buy much of anything. But if my six other aunts would get their act together and all made the same gesture... I'm kidding.
I felt guilty that she had sent me any money at all.
I thought about how maybe this is one of those things you don't directly repay, but instead just pass on to someone else. And I made a vow to myself that I would do the same someday for my nieces, nephews, and other loved ones.
I thought about how a hundred dollar bill would not have meant nearly as much. There was something simple and pure and sweet about those two fives.
I thought about how thankful I am for family. Even family I don't see that often. Especially family I don't see that often.
I'm thankful there are still some things in this world you can't put a price on. Things that are worth so much more than money and always will be. Things like a few words scribbled in love on a little piece of scrap paper...
Give this to Bone. And tell him I love him.
"No, I ain't forgot how I was raised, but I'm living way too fast. It's a roller coaster ride up and down..."