How Do We Truly Give?

January 16, 2012

You give but little when you give of your possessions.

It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.

– Kahlil Gibran –

I had an uncle who has now passed on.  Growing up, I never really knew him.  I knew of him.  He was generous at Christmas time, sending gifts.   The were appreciated, I suppose.  I can’t remember what he looked like but I remember receiving a gift each year.  The gifts were always something . . . well, completely inappropriate for the child I was when I received them.  A dress that was too small, a toy that was years too young for me, a makeup kit that was years too old for me.  He passed away and all I ever knew of him was those gifts . . .

I had another uncle.  He has also passed on.  He lived far from us, but visited when he could.  We visited him as well.  He was kind and generous, and I remember he sent money to my parents so they could choose a gift for me at Christmas.  I hardly knew him though.  Years passed.  Eventually, as an adult, I got to spend time with him a bit more often.   I came to know him well and enjoyed our visits so much.   He was clever, and funny.  He always had a story to tell.  He loved nature, and loved a challenge.  He always asked me about my life and seemed always to be really interested.  I came to love him as one can only love someone who is really known personally.  Sadly he passed away not long after I truly got to know him, but he blessed my life.  When I think back I don’t think of the presents, but of his presence.  He became a part of me and he still is.  Somehow, I think Gibran knew this uncle. 


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