Editorials by Robert Kirwan

The Golden Box of Birthday Kisses…

   As the story goes, one day a long time ago, a young mother walked into her 5-year old daughter’s bedroom and was extremely upset to see that the little girl had used almost a whole roll of expensive gold wrapping paper to decorate a small package about the size of a shoe box. While severely scolding her daughter, the mother quickly gathered the remaining paper, scotch tape and scissors. The child was told to get her pajamas on and go to bed immediately without watching TV or getting her usual bedtime snack.

   The family had very little money, and the mother had been planning on using that paper for a special gift that was to be given to a close friend the following week.

   Early the next morning, the little girl hopped up onto her mother’s bed and handed her the gift box, wrapped in the gold paper. “This is for you, Mommy. Happy Birthday.”

  The mother was embarrassed by her over-reaction the night before, but her anger flared again when she opened the box and found it was empty. She spoke to her daughter in a harsh manner, "Don't you know young lady, when you give someone a present there's supposed to be something inside the package?" 
  The little girl had tears in her eyes and said, "Oh, Momma, it's not empty! I blew kisses into it until it was full." 
   The mother was crushed. She put her arms around her little girl and the two of them lay on the pillow embracing as the mother begged her daughter’s forgiveness for her thoughtless anger.

   From that day on, the mother kept the gold box by her bed. Every time the daughter did something that made her mother feel special or proud, or every time they shared a precious moment together, the mother would take a little piece of paper, or napkin, or anything else that could be written on, and make a brief note about the occasion. She would then place the little note inside the box.

   Every year after that, as the two of them grew older, they would get together on the mother’s birthday, take out the box and remove the pieces of paper one by one, recalling each of those special moments. As the years went by, they would spend hours at a time on the mother’s birthday, laughing, crying, hugging and kissing, as they relived the special times they spent together and those special moments that the daughter, sometimes unknowingly, had so dearly affected her mother.

   Years later, when her mother died, the daughter opened the box, and on the very top of all of the pieces of paper lay a beautiful piece of gold paper with the words, “Thank you for a lifetime of kisses. Whenever I had a bad day, I would reach into the box when it was time for bed and pull out a “birthday kiss” to read. That “kiss” always made me feel so wonderfully grateful for being your mom that I would forget about my bad day and go to sleep with my spirits lifted and enjoy dreams of our joyous moments together. The day you gave me this box of “birthday kisses” was the most wonderful day of my life. ”

    In a very real sense, each of us, as human beings, have been given a Golden box filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, family & friends. The box is constantly being filled with “kisses” – moments when we feel special and so glad to be alive. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold. It's a shame we don't always stop and think about our Golden box when we are experiencing our most lonely and sad feelings.

   The daughter in the story took her mother’s gold box home and placed it in a place of honour in her home. She also made another box, wrapped it in gold paper, and placed it beside her bed. For the rest of her life, whenever a child, family member, or friend, did something, or said something that made her feel special, she would write it down on any piece of scrap paper she could find and place it in her gold box. Every year after that, on her own birthday, the daughter would sit for hours, removing the pieces of paper one-by-one, recalling those special moments and feeling so happy to be alive. She would then write a letter to each different person who had “touched her” in the past year, and in the letter recall how she felt and how thankful she was for the “birthday kiss” that she had received from that person.

   What a wonderful world it would be if each of us would open up our own golden box of birthday kisses more often.

   Have a good week!



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