One football helmet. Used. Scared. Priceless!
Yesterday, my wife found a package that had been delivered by UPS. We evidently weren’t home when it was delivered for the delivery man placed it in a place where it would be safe from the weather. It was in plain sight, nestled in a group of boxes of similar size and shape. Obviously, it went undetected for a few days. In the box were Christmas presents sent from my daughter and her family.
My daughter is a busy sales executive (V.P.), but she manages to take the time each Christmas to find a gift that transcends the obligatory … her gifts are personal. I’ve come to expect and look forward to their arrival. But this year … this year, I received a priceless gift in that plain brown corrugated box. However, it was not from her.
You see it pictured above. It is a football helmet, one worn by my Grandson Brad. With it was a note, a note I choose to selfishly keep as one of those objects that is of the “heart,” private. It is for me to savor and for me alone. That’s one of the things that makes it so special. As we age we appreciate life landmarks more; we know life’s important issues because we have lived it.
As a grandparent of four marvelous young adults, I have been blessed. Like all grandparents, I want to do what I can to make each one successful and, most importantly, happy. When I looked at my inventory of items I might share with Brad, my experience coaching football was something I believed would help him. He was an eager learner. He never lost the flex in his knees, kept his toes in so he could start quickly in any direction, kept his power line low, and never let a blocker get to his outside leg when he played outside linebacker. He was a very good player.
As satisfying as seeing him play successfully was, receiving the helmet is an indication that he learned things that transcend the physical skills he was taught. The greater values a sport teaches us are values that are retained and used as we go through our lives. Brad values our relationship on a deep level; it is one of those lessons. The value of team work, personal sacrifices required to attain a goal, embracing hard work, learning that we are a victim if we choose to remain one, and the concept of loyalty to ideas, to organizations, and to people are notches on a person’s character belt. Thanks for a priceless gift, Brad. I’ll sleep well tonight.
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