My husband, Lance, enjoys giving gifts. He finds brilliant gifts, imaginative presents with meaning and symbolism.
For example, when we purchased our lovely house on the river, he knew we had traded in our dream to live on a boat and sail far away.
Okay, it was my dream.
He mounted our ship’s bell—one he ordered for us with the name “Tangent” cast on it (my dream boat’s name)—on a plaque to commemorate the “launch” of our house. On the ship’s bell pull, he sewed two pearls from my wedding dress. These pearls represent the pearls of our life: our children.
Another present was a blue clock carved from fossilized coral and dyed the color of the sea. It was our 35th wedding anniversary, and he wanted to mark time with the traditional wedding gift of coral.
Still another present was a fantastic mystery game that arrived each month in the mail, a puzzling clue sent by a stranger, and I had to solve the mystery.
Today is Mother’s Day, and he’s given me yet another amazing gift. His gift is a writing set that contains a leatherbound journal, a quill pen with extra nibs, and a bottle of India ink. He also gave me a small lamp, a box with colorful wax pellets, and a brass stamp engraved with my logo. I can use the mark and sealing wax to close letters and let people know they are from me.
This stamp, from a company called Nostalgic Impressions, features an outline of my logo, which he copied and sent to them for engraving.
My logo is an elaborate “V” and “A” from the ancient Book of Kells. It represents my married name, Van Auken, but my maiden name is Kelly. The logo is my way of honoring my Celtic Heritage.
His gifts–the writing set and brass stamp with my seal–are a forgotten, or seldom-used mode of communication. I was so touched by his thoughtfulness, I had to dedicate this episode to the history of writing.