Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



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Daughter of Ishmael by Diane Stringam Tolley

Daughter of Ishmael

by Diane Stringam Tolley

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Saturday, February 14, 2015

First Valentine

My First Valentine is nearly 90 years old.

I have been visiting him and making sure he is eating and all of the important stuff . . .
Look at that sweet face . . .
I was out yesterday, at Dad’s local grocery, buying food.
I so love buying food!
I walked past a display of Valentine goodies.
And stopped.
There were several heart-shaped boxes.
 Beautifully, elegantly - decorated boxes.
Cute, colourful boxes.
Boxes with favourite cartoon characters printed on the lids.
Dozens of kinds to choose from.
Somewhere in the middle was a stack of boxes.
Simple.
Red.
They reminded me of something.
A gift from my Dad on a Valentine’s Day many, many years ago.
Dad always gave my Mom a heart-shaped box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day.
Always.
It was the one special day of the year he was confident in his gift-giving abilities.
The year I turned six was even more special for me.
It was the year that Dad first included me in the gift giving.
At breakfast that morning, he handed my mom a beautifully decorated large box of chocolates.
To much oohing and ahhing from us kids.
Then he smiled at me and handed me a box.
A small, heart-shaped box of chocolates all my own.
I stared at him.
Then at the box.
For me?
All for me?
He nodded. “For my littlest Valentine,” he said.
I jumped up and gave him a hug. Then snatched the box and fled.
The chocolates inside were gone faster than you can blink.
But the box remained.
 Because I like boxes.
For years, it held my smallest treasures.
Then, when I moved out, it remained with all the little keepsakes of my childhood . . .
I didn't mention the Valentine's display to my Dad. I thought that when the time came, I would just go and buy one of those boxes for him.
Last night, as we were sitting visiting, he asked me to get him his little sewing kit.
I went to fetch it.
And discovered that his sewing kit was my little chocolate box.
I held it in my hands and stared at it.
I was suddenly six years old again.
Receiving my first Valentine’s gift from my first Valentine.
Such a sweet, sweet memory.
I'm here to help my Dad.
But really, he is helping me.
A little the worse for the wear,
but it is over 50 years old! Like me . . .

18 comments:

  1. What a sweet story for the day of love. Hugs to you all.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, thanks for sharing the story of you and your dad. Give him an extra hug. I miss my dad so much. Happy Valentine's Day

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally will. I'm so glad for any time I have with him!

      Delete
  3. Love this story. Sniff! Happy Valentine's Day to you & Husby, and to your Dad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jenny! And to you and yours as well!

      Delete
  4. And again...you've given me the sniffles.We are our Daddies girls aren't we?

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would have loved to have a dad like that and a story like that to tell - you are very blessed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Leanne. I feel very blessed!

      Delete
  6. I got a bit teary-eyed at this one, so passed it to my husband to read. Now he's all teary-eyed too. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I remember the first I was included in my dad's Valentines Day gifts. I was about the same age and he gave me a little tea cup and saucer with little artificial baby roses w/ baby's breath. I still have it and it means more to me than any gift I've ever been given. Dad's are so special! I'm so glad to see yours smiling and happy. I had been wondering how he was doing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a special, precious gift! Dad's are special!

      Delete
  8. How very sweet that your dad kept that little box all these years. Did buy a heart shaped box of chocolates for your dad?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally did, River. Then helped him eat the chocolates. I mean, what else would a dutiful daughter do?

      Delete
  9. Just read this tonight and it made me smile after a long, difficult weekend. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Lana. Sorry you had a tough weekend. Here's to better days ahead!

      Delete

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