Last April when the family had gathered for my mother's funeral, my son Fynn and I spent a night with my dad. In the morning, his first task was to bake bread. My dad has been baking bread once a week at least I believe since I was in high school or maybe earlier. It's been a long time.
He pulled out the mixer and the flour, the yeast and set to work. As the mixer began to mix up his bread I could see there were a few glitches. Now this mixer is one that has a plastic gold outer shell - that tells you just how old it is. He proceeded to tell us how it works, but sometimes it whines if he makes bread and cookies in the same day.
In that moment, I wanted to get my dad a Kitchen Aid mixer. I asked my siblings about going in on one for Father's day, but they already had plans. As Christmas approached, I debated it again. I would see them crop up in the ads and think, 'that's what I want to do!'
And then the voice of reason, or perhaps fear, would step in and say, 'that's a lot of money, more than you can afford.'
My heart troubled over this. The inner voice continued to urge me toward it and yet, the voice of reason continued to counter argue. I know these voices well. I recall my inner voice would tell me Nick had to go climbing in France and we would buy the ticket on a credit card and I would just know that somehow we would make the money for the trip. And we did. But since Nick and I divorced, when it comes to money thoughts, I no longer have that same confidence that the money will come. And so I struggled with the decision.
Friday, I cannot explain why I saw it, but I did. A $50 gift card if you spend a certain amount at Canadian Tire. And so it was decided. I was going to do it. I was going to believe I would be okay financially. More than that, I was going to start questioning that voice that tells me to be conservative, frugal, fearful of not having enough and not being able to make enough.
As my dad unwrapped the gift, I could see his sense of happiness and his concern all at the same time. I could sense his mind doing the math and deciding this present was too expensive. That's my dad. But in my heart was joy. Giving him the gift came from my heart... something I knew he would use and love, something that reaffirmed the essence of who he is. A mixer, really? Yes, my dad loves to bake, to construct, to work with his hands, to grow his own food. He loves the independence it stands for. He loves the healthiness of it. And he loves that he has something unique to offer others, something home made or home grown.
This gift was really one I gave myself.