Just before Christmas, Ming had an idea for my presents and we went to a bookstore where he asked me to pick out a bunch of books I wanted and then he would pick three while I went outside the shop. He explained that this would mean I would still get a surprise. So I gleefully picked out six books and left the shop.
So on Christmas morning, I opened the first of my three presents, knowing that it would be a book. But it was two books! And each of the presents contained two books, so Ming had bought me all six and that was the surprise. My delight was contagious and he laughed, saying that he’d been worried that I would choose more and he would have to buy all of them when he didn’t have that much money. He wrote a message in each of the books and some of these were funny, some loving, all illegibly beautiful!
Then he said he had another present and told me that he wanted to spend his remaining savings on a holiday for me at a resort north of here – a whole week! I said no way but I would take 3 nights and he made me shake hands. “You can be all by yourself, Mum, without me and Dad and everything, and you can write and chill out. I’ll look after the birds and dogs and you can just relax.”
Tonight – on this first evening of the new year – he turned his consul off and asked me to come into the living room for a talk. I joined him and we had a long, philosophical discussion in which he said, “I just want us to talk to each other more, Mum, get reconnected, so we both don’t get all sad again.” At that moment, I looked out the front window to see the redgum that Ming bought me three years ago flowering for the first time ever. He noticed it too and we exchanged a smile. “Happy New Year, kid,” I said.
The best gift: Ming.
Thank you, Anthony.