Have you ever received a special gift that was totally unexpected. Let me tell you a story about just such a gift I received.
I will have to start at the beginning... it began some 16 years ago when I was looking for a birthday present for my dad. I remember giving a lot of thought on what I could buy as a gift that my dad would appreciate and actually use. Dad really didn't need much...he managed to make do with what he had... always comfortable with the simple things in life. So one day while visiting my parents home, I noticed my dad working out in his garden wearing an old barn jacket. I noticed his jacket was rather worn, with several sewn patches on it. I asked my mom about the jacket...she shared with me that he bought it at a garage sale for pennies, it had belonged to a dear friend who had passed away. Mom said he enjoyed remembering his friend and telling the story on how he came to own this perfect jacket for gardening.
This got me thinking....if I could find a new jacket just like my dad's worn jacket, it would make the perfect birthday gift. So off I went searching for a barn jacket. I remember being rather excited about this idea. Then after many stops with little luck finding a similar jacket...I received a tip about a store in Batavia, NY that might sell barn jackets, so I travelled an hour to the outlet store in Batavia, NY called the Melton Shirt Co. Sure enough I found a jacket almost exactly like the one I saw my dad wearing out in his garden. I was so excited...I found the most perfect gift for my dad!
So when my dad's birthday arrived....I travelled home to celebrate my dad's birthday. I was sure this gift was going to be received with amazement and appreciation. As he opened the gift I could see he really liked it and thanked me for such a thoughtful gift...commenting on how great it will be to wear this new jacket while gardening.
Well... Each time I travelled home to visit my parents I would notice my dad's new jacket was still sitting in the closet, untouched. After several visits I began asking my dad "When are you going to wear your jacket?" Dad would reply..."I will." Several years passes... and the jacket sat tucked away in the closet...unused. At the time I couldn't understand it, why wear an old worn jacket...when you had a new one to use. It became a topic of conversation during each of our visits throughout the years.
Then one day, several years after I gave this jacket to my dad, I came home from work to see that a package was waiting for me. The package was from my dad. My dad never sent letters or packages... I carefully opened the package to find the barn jacket with a note..."Chris- I want you to have this wonderful jacket...I know you will enjoy wearing it. Love,Dad".
Now several years later...I continue to wear this jacket...it is now worn and frayed in some spots. But now I understood ...how my dad felt about his worn jacket. My jacket became my favorite jacket to wear! It had a story behind it...one I enjoyed telling friends and coworkers. I love my worn jacket and feel grateful my dad gave me this "special" gift!