How was your Christmas? Mine was a little rough; first one since my Dad passed last August.

In early July of this year I was sharing with my Dad a catalog of pretty "snowballs" (the glass globes with figurines and snow inside). In the catalog he found one he wanted me to pick up for Mom for Christmas. So I did, and promptly forgot all about it until I was retrieving the wrapping paper from under my bed Christmas Eve.

While I am pulling the paper out I saw a bag that I did not recognize until I opened it, there was the snowball with a man and woman angel kissing inside and a guardian angel perched on top on the outside of the globe. Dad said that was Mom and him with their guardian angel.

Have you ever been in a situation where you know when you tell or give someone something it will make them sad and happy at the same time? That's the situation I was in. I knew in giving this to Mom she would feel sad and miss Dad even more, yet I also knew it would in the long run make her very happy. The gift did both.

When I got to Mom's on Christmas Eve evening, I spread the other gifts I had out around the fireplace, then sat the snowball on the coffee table. I had wrapped it just like the others but knew exactly which one it was.

Since Mom is not a curious person, she never asked anything about the gift sitting on the coffee table, after we both got settled down I said, "I don't know how to say this except to just say it. This is your Christmas present from Dad, he asked me to pick it up last July".

At first she lost all color in her face (that scared me), then she said "Should I open it now or wait until tomorrow, I suggested she open then. She opened that gift with such care and tenderness, slowly she pulled each piece of scotch tape off and finally revealed the box. The box she looked all over seeing if this was a real box or a camouflage box.

When she finally opened it and took the snowball out of it packing, she quietly started shedding tears. The snowball also plays music; my Dad had picked out "Once upon a Dream". Mom wound the key and this pretty melody started playing, she turned the snowball upside down and back and the iridescent glitter gently fall over the figurines.

I believe my Mom sees this gift as the most precious gift my Dad ever gave her, besides his love. Since she opened it Christmas Eve she has taken it into her bedroom that they shared for 51 1/2 years and plays the music and watches the glitter. Then in the morning she brings it out to the living room where she can see it all day.

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