Gina Pertonelli

  1984 -
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Gina's Story > Chapters > My Relatives

"The Card Meant More Than the Gift" 


Date Range: 01/01/1985 To 12/31/2007   Comments: 4   Views: 5,580
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I recently was given a box of things from my grandmother's house. My mom's relatives I don't talk too much but once in a while they throw me a bone. My dad's side of the family I don't talk to at all now a days.

They sent me a box of some knickknacks and mostly junk. A hair brush. A dried flower. A ribbon. A dance card. A small children's book. A broken junk necklace. And some other stuff. At the bottom there was a card, yellowed can crackled with age. I opened it carefully, blowing dust from its face that seemed to take some of its color along with it.

On the front it said "You have the time of your life" and inside "The joys of the season be with you."

Under that, in neatly printed block lettering was the following message:

My Dearest Cora,

You have given me the lens through which to view a world of colour, of nuances of shades of light and interplay of dark. I had my eyes closed my entire life and only feel now that I am seeing the world in its glory. Bright, life, and wonderful. Only you have lifted the clouds that covered them before.

Cora, will you meet me beside the giant tree at midnight on New Year's Eve? I have something of the utmost importance to ask you.

Please say yes.

With Love and Respect,

My grandfather proposed to my grandmother that night. They were married later that summer and had my mother a year later, and she too was born on New Year's Day.

Who knows what gift this card came with, if any. The card meant so much more than the gift, didn't it?

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Member Since
Aug 2007
Susan Janneck said:
posted on Dec 17, 2008
What a wonderful gift

How wonderful that you got that box of stuff. None of it is junk though. Everything in that box holds some kind of meaning for the person who took the time of keep it. It most likely meant something special at the time it was received. Don't be too quick to brush them aside as junk. That old hair brush might have been the actual brush that your grandmother used to brush her hair. Keep everything in that box because they are special. You just received the most wonderful gift of being able to see what a special person your grandfather was and what a wonderful writer he was. Treasure everything. You are very lucky.

Member Since
Aug 2007
Gina Pertonelli said:
posted on Dec 18, 2008

I suppose I could use it for DNA sampling? :) It IS junk, but meaningful junk. I didn't mean to disparage it. Seems nice back when they used to write letters doesn't it?

Member Since
Nov 2008
Roger Elliott said:
posted on Jan 25, 2009
language will lift you up

I too have a letter from my great Grandmother written to my my Grandfather when he was a boy. I am fascinated by the use of language and, as such, this was another example of its use with great respect. So much of communicating back then was done this way, the letter, that I suppose they got quite good at it. Putting thoughts down on paper, rather than just a text message, or email, requires some skill to relay emotions like a smile or a wink, humor, sadness, good news and bad. I fear many of us have lost this ability over the years as technology has taken hold of our means of communication almost completely. That is why sites like this are so important, they give us all a reason to use the skills that we were given. Sorry, I'm rambling, but I feel strongly about this. Have a good one!, and keep writing. You have talent for storytelling, it won't get better if you don't exercise it. Good Luck!

Member Since
Aug 2007
Gina Pertonelli said:
posted on Feb 02, 2009

I love the old idioms and phrases they use. It's like stepping back into a different world :)