The coat in the picture above was gifted to me on Christmas morning many a year ago now and completely blew me away.
As we sat in our living room surrounded by wrapping paper and ribbons, Russ handed me this big box to open. I couldn’t imagine what it could be by its size.
When I pulled this soft teddy bear of a coat out of the tissue, my mind reeled with a few questions and a stunned wondering how on earth he would have thought to purchase this for me.
The background story answers my questions and explains why I was so completely taken by surprise.
Sometime in early December I had gone shopping with our friend Lisa, who you hear about from time to time. We were taking our annual day to travel out of town and do some Christmas gift buying. We parked outside Macy’s in Springfield and entered the store by the women’s department.
Shortly into the store, I spied this ridiculously luxurious coat and said I just had to try it on. I loved it and she said she thought it needed to go home with me.
As I remember it was on sale and not a bad price, but who buys themselves a coat she doesn’t need when her Christmas list is already going to break the budget to smithereens?
I hung the coat back up, completely forgot about it and we had a lovely day of shopping.
Unbeknownst to me, after we got home Lisa contacted Russ and said I had tried on a coat she was pretty sure he needed to buy for me.
From there, Russ called Rachel, who was newly married and living outside Chicago while Zach finished up pharmacy school.
As the story goes, here is what she was given to begin her quest:
Mom tried on a black, furry coat in Springfield’s Macy’s. Find it.
Rachel made calls to Lisa to get as many details as she could and somehow the girl tracked down the coat, found the size and got it ordered. I can only imagine her conversations with her dad, Lisa and sales clerks around the state.
On cold winter days, that coat wraps me in warmth that is teflon. I have rubbed the fur like a child holding her most loved stuffy on days that were hard. It has made me feel special when we need to dress up for something.
But the thing about it is, it’s more than the coat.
I could have bought that coat the day I tried it on and it would have meant so much less to me.
That coat is my friend who wanted me to have it, my husband who agreed, and our daughter who spent precious time to help her dad get it for me.
Love is the greatest gift.
I will say it over and over until I can’t get the words out and it’s just a whisper between dry lips.
Love. Is. The. Greatest. Gift.