The Mane Event

Seth and I decided to go very light on gift-giving last year. And after an unexpected August engagement, I had received the only physical “gift” I might hope for from Seth.

Like many of my friends, I appreciate the intrinsic satisfaction gift-giving brings. Receiving gifts is nice too; it’s a chance to have some fun with friends, see how well they know you, etc.

In the past I’ve known people who will spend the entire year judging or otherwise measuring their relationships based on how much ‘thought’ (read: money) was spent on their gift. There are different kinds of relationships and people in the world – and I suspect these are some of the shallowest. But that’s okay. They make me giggle, and I have the time to judge. (Hahaha, I’m FAR from flawless!)

All this rambling is to tell you about one gift I received this year. As Seth would say, “It broke me.”

I have a huge heart for animals. But beyond that, I think I’m pretty average, maybe a little tougher than usual. Hallmark cards and movies about separated lovers don’t make me cry. I’ve never been moved to sponsor a fly-covered malnourished child shown on TV commercials. (I can’t watch the animal abuse commercials, though!)

I’m sensitive, but for most of my life, I’ve successfully kept it secret. I’ve decided to open up a lot since my diagnosis, but the open demonstration – exposure – of feelings is still a struggle.

For all of those reasons, even my mom was surprised when she handed me my gift. I opened the tiny box and had a complete break down.

She found an artisan who weaves jewelry from horse tail hair. Back in August, my mom clipped a (surprisingly thick!) chunk of Shadow’s tail hair and mailed it in. The resulting gift was a beautiful bracelet delicately woven from Shadow’s tail hair and sized just for me.

I bawled tears of joy. Then I cried some more. It is so special and thoughtful. I have yet to wear it; although the weave is very sturdy, and it seems perfect. There are no short hairs poking out like when I would braid my own hair.

I’m not sure I’ve ever received such a unique and thoughtful gift. Just like the pony it came from, I will cherish it forever!



6 responses to “The Mane Event

  • Cassandra

    Amazing! Wear it today!! It’s beautiful.


  • Sally Pitman

    The most thoughtful gift is rarely the most expensive. This is the perfect gift for you and I am so glad your mom thought of it. It is beautiful in addition to being so full of meaning for you — a memento of your equine companion and of your mother’s thoughtfulness. Incidentally, I so agree with you about TV and solicitation ads about animal abuse and suffering. I want to do what I can to stop this, but I can’t bear to hear the awful details.
    This Christmas I gave one of my daughters my late husband’s and my wedding rings which were nested in a bale on a chain. To the other daughter, I gave my engagement ring, from which the diamond was missing, fitted with a peridot, her birthstone. Both, I felt were meaningful. Today. I got the news that I am no longer in remission from my stage IV lung cancer and that it has started to spread. I accept this, while hoping that on Monday my oncologist will have a plan that will give me additional time. The most meaningful thing anyone could give me now is a message of love and support.

  • Sjoukje

    oh wow!! That is so gorgeous and yes, it would make me emotional too!! Love it!!! xxx

  • Sabina

    Oh Jessica. It’s beautiful beyond words. I completely understand why this gift made you loose control. The depth of the giver’s understanding of what is important to ***YOU*** (not what they like, which so many gift choices are based upon) and her willingness to go that extra mile to acquire that special something is way out of the ordinary. Now some may say that of course the giver knew what you would like – she’s your mother. But not all mothers know their children well. Mine certainly didn’t know me very well. I can see the deep love your mom has for you in this gift, making it worth more than diamonds. I know you will treasure it always.

  • Linda Rogers

    What a beautiful and heart-felt gift your mother gave you. A mother knows what a daughter needs and loves. What a touching and meaningful gift. Just knowing what went into getting it made, is a labor of love.

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