Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thoughtful Giving

It can be so difficult to identify the "perfect" gift.  I'm a big fan of finding something meaningful that can really be used for years to come.  This week, I heard such an amazing story of meaningful giving ... that I had to share.

One of my co-workers was turning 60 this week.  He arrived home on Tuesday to find a random truck parked in this driveway, blocking his way into the garage.  Like most 60 year olds, he is a little crankier than the average person.  He got out of his car and "lit into his wife" who happened to be standing on the sidewalk.
"Who owns the truck?"
"Where did it come from?"
"You better not have bought this thing!"

His oldest son came out the front door and asked him if he was ready to apologize for being an idiot.  Then he asked his Dad to look really close again at the truck ...

As he looked the truck over, a flash of recognition came over his face ... but it couldn't be!
This truck was purchased by his grandfather in 1962.
He learned how to drive in this truck when he was eleven.
His grandpa let him borrow the truck for his first date at 15.
The family sold the truck in 1980.

His son had spent about six months tracking down the truck, finally locating it in a barn in Texas.  He went to meet with the owners and explained to them the significance of the truck in the life of his family, until they agreed to allow him to purchase it.

His son spent the next six months working with a guy to have it fully restored.  He oversaw every detail .. from tracking down original hubcaps to the original paint color.

This week, his son parked the truck in his dad's driveway ... knowing full well he would be snarky when he came home and saw it ... yet also knowing that it would be one of the most memorable and meaningful gifts he had ever received.

After they took it out for a ride and everyone else had gone inside, my friend sat behind the wheel of that truck and just let the memories flow.  So many of his favorite childhood memories were somehow attached to this truck.

Next summer they are having a family reunion.  What an amazing opportunity to share this truck with another two generations of family members ... I can just see the little ones, lined up on that running board, listening to the stories about this truck and where it has carried their family.

It is not always possible to do something this grand, but this served as a solid reminder of the importance of really putting some thought into the gifts I give and looking for opportunities to do something truly meaningful and thoughtful.