Published March 17, 2008 by
Miles and miles of land separate my mother and me. The long-distance phone calls and emails cannot compare to being able to see her whenever I please. So when it comes time to ship off a gift, I want her to feel as if I am standing in front of her, delivering it myself.
As the month of June neared, I prepared for one of my most intense gift-giving times of the year. Besides Father’s Day, the month brought both of my parent’s birthdays, as well as their anniversary. By the middle of the month, I would have satisfied 3 out of 4 big dates on the calendar, leaving my mother's birthday to focus on. This year, I tried to think of gifts she would not only use, but also find comfort, delight and relaxation. She recently quit smoking and I wanted to keep her on track and make sure she was surrounded by welcomed distractions.
My mother always starts her day with a cup of coffee and by night, falls asleep beside another. I went to the gourmet food gifts section of one of my favorite stores and began to browse the coffee aisle. There were many tempting flavors to choose from, including Raspberry to Chocolate Mint, as I relentlessly read all of the bags. In the back of the bunch, one particular item rewarded me for my uncompromising focus.
If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again- sometimes the perfect gift finds me even when I least expect it. The day after Mother’s Day, my mother and I were having a conversation about her visit with my grandmother. She brought over her usual gift, accompanied by coffee and biscuits. By the end of her visit, she said she left with a delicious taste upon her lips, as they had sipped several shots of Kahlua. I know the doctor mentioned that alcohol may provide comfort for my grandmother’s arthritis, but for me, it was hard to swallow that my Nana and mother were sitting in her living room, consuming alcoholic beverages on Mother’s Day. I’ve never seen either one of them drink in my life.
So when I pulled the Kahlua-flavored coffee from behind all of the other interesting flavors, I felt I had struck gold. It was the last and only bag of its kind. I wasn’t looking for that particular flavor; didn’t even know it existed, but the warmth and happiness that overcame me at that moment was overwhelming. I couldn’t wait until she opened her gift.
On her birthday, I called early because she always waits for me before opening gifts. I could hear the tear of the box and crinkling of the wrapping paper. She was quite pleased with what she found inside. The gift brought her back to the Mother’s Day Kahlua, which then turned into a flood of teenage and college memories I had no idea existed. Although, I was miles and miles away, the coffee talk made me feel much closer, providing me with much-needed satisfaction and comfort.