My daughter, Abby, graduated from college this past month and one of the joys of our celebration was to give her a graduation present that I have been working on since she was 10 years old! I wanted to mark this big milestone in her life with a gift that ushered her into the big real world with some treasures that she was now responsible enough to have. Her gift was a jewelry box filled with real jewelry pieces that she can forever hold onto. Throughout the past 12 years I purchased precious and semi-precious gold, silver, and gemstone pieces whenever I found something on sale or that would suit her personality. She was over the moon with her new treasures!
I also included in her jewelry box a couple of items that she inherited or received as special gifts. One piece is a vintage handkerchief that her paternal grandmother gave her several years ago and Abby asked me to hold on to it because she was afraid she would lose it. I carefully tucked it away in her jewelry box knowing her college graduation would be the perfect time to give it back to her. Shortly after she gave it to me for safekeeping, she completely forgot about it.
Imagine how wonderful it was when she opened her beautiful jewelry box and as she sorted through her new jewelry collection, she discovered her grandmother’s gift. Her eyes lit up when she saw it and as she held it in her hands her eyes then filled with tears. It was such a lovely moment. And she will cherish that handkerchief for the rest of her life. It’s most likely that a daughter of hers will one day cherish it too.
As I watched her look at that handkerchief with such joy and love, it occurred to me that this beautiful piece of linen has come to represent a rite of passage. We don’t use handkerchiefs anymore to stop sniffles or dab a wet eye, but rather we pass them as a gesture of unconditional giving and legacy that is bestowed on those we deem most special. I plan on giving my future granddaughters handkerchiefs some day for this very reason.
Jodi Henson is the Co-Founder of A Wish For You (www.awishforyou.net), an online portal where customers can create Wish Packages to send to others for whom they want to show support, encouragement, and uplifting wishes. She lives on Amelia Island in Florida with her husband.