One day last week, I noticed a small present outside my front door. Its giver had wedged the small wrapped rectangle into the center of an M&M wreath another friend had left.
No tag. No “To:” or “From:”. Just the rectangle, carefully wrapped. I brought it inside and opened it, the paper winter cold.
It was an ornament. A Wonder Woman ornament.
I’m not sure how many people know how sentimental Wonder Woman is to me, how symbolic I’ve made her, how she is my Truth Teller (Brave Girls might know what I mean).
Does anyone know about the small Wonder Woman action figure that sat on my desk at work for the past six-plus years, front and center below my computer monitor? I’m fairly certain I’ve never told anyone about her, nor written a word.
It reminds me I should get her out of the box of things gathered on clean-out-my-desk-day that went straight from trunk of my car to floor of my garage. Maybe Wonder Woman deserves a spot on my stove or the windowsill above my kitchen sink.
Anyway, I now have a Wonder Woman ornament, given to me by someone whose identity I may never know. And I want to tell you, dear anonymous friend, how much I love her. And how much strength there is in kindness. And how someday, I will pay all this big-hearted generosity forward.
Opportunity knocks … only once? Twice? How does that saying go?
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I thought I had a job. A great job, in journalism. A dream job. One I’ve always, always wanted. Oh, in a really beautiful place.
I flew to this dreamy place for an interview last week. I had new clothes, fresh hair and polished nails. I had my confidence, my smile, my poise. I had the hope of a new beginning.
The publisher and I hit it off. She showed me the market, introduced me to the staff, had me edit a story (oh, editing, how I’ve missed you!), set me up in a hotel with a view of the lake and the mountains, told me they were very excited …
But it wasn’t meant to be. And as much as I want to explain, I have to leave it at that.
I spent a few hours in the aftermath being really sad, a few more being really scared and then a few more remembering how great my life is in all other aspects.
I saved the best update for last.
My dad gave my mom this ring 32 years ago.
I don’t know the story, but I wish I did.
It is beautiful.
It is perfect.
And now … it is mine.
On my finger. Diamonds and sparkle and true, true love.
The love of my life asked me to marry him on Christmas Eve. He took that ring of my mom’s and had it spiffed and shined and made mine.
He asked me after midnight, after a long strange but wonderful day, while I was brushing my teeth.
I hugged him and said, “Can we get married tomorrow?”
I was kidding. Sort of.
I hugged him some more and said yes and then we listened to records. His eyes lit up, and he smiled that smile that melts my heart … I knew then, no matter what happens, we will make it.
The ring and the man and the babies and the love. I still wake up every morning and for a second or two wonder if this is really my life … it is.
How lucky am I?
The wish is late, but the sentiment is real: Merry, merry Christmas! I hope each of you got exactly what you wanted this year, too.