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.