The Gift You Keep

John Winchurch & Elizabeth Harper

John Winchurch & Elizabeth Harper

Reposted from original GOTJ

Six months ago, if someone had said, ‘ Elizabeth, 2007 is going to end a little differently than you’ve planned, but the new year will bring you an unexpected gift,’ my response might have been something along the lines of … right!  Over the last few years I’d had about all the unexpected gifts I could handle and frankly I don’t do very well when people give me things.

A gift can be a burden when it’s not something you want. I am talking about those kind of gifts that still have a price tag attached to them. You know what I mean … price tags like guilt, as in ‘Don’t you like it?’  Or those that may have a longer shelf life such as, ‘How come you never wear, use, or eat the things I buy for you?’

And because I don’t like to have things sitting around taking up space, I will almost always return something not right for me. Returning a gift is usually considered the worst offense. So given some of my experiences with people and gift giving why wouldn’t I think, ‘Gifts from the universe … no thanks, I’ll get it myself if I want it.’

After all my needs were pretty simple. I had the love and support of family and friends. My marketing position with a hospice organization was providing enough to fund the more creative life I envisioned as a photographer and I was in many ways building a life that was exactly what I thought I wanted.

Things weren’t perfect in every way, but who really expects perfection. With the exception of a less than desirable love life, things were pretty good. Nothing seemed unmanageable and for once it seemed as if I was driving the bus myself instead of feeling like a backseat driver in my own life.

Then on an important night to be out, I stayed in.

Home alone on New Years Eve, I decided to take a look at men on a UK dating site. What could it hurt to have a look? I’m in America and they’re way across the ocean. No problem there, right?  Plenty of time to correspond, get to know one another, take your time, move slowly, hey … developing a long distance relationship could be sort of like having a pen pal. No pressure I thought, in fact it might work perfectly for me because I was usually too busy to sleep, much less date .

And besides, I was absolutely not interested in serious relationship then.

Uh right … I find that words like that spoken out loud or not, seem to work in a way similar to a modern-day love spell. As soon as someone says, ‘I’m happy just dating,’ the man or woman of their dreams appears and dramatically changes the plan they envisioned for their future.

I hear stories like that from time the time, don’t you?  Now it seems to have happened to me. Just when I wasn’t expecting it, this perfect gift dropped into my inbox and into my life.

I think I’ll be keeping this one.


3 thoughts on “The Gift You Keep

  1. Reposted from original GOTJ Comments:


    I look forward to reading your blog. Hope to see you when you are here, and would love to visit you in Cornwall. Big hugs to you and John.
    Monday, June 30, 2008 – 09:28 AM
    Elizabeth, I am glad you found happiness as you pursue your excellent adventure. I’ll be checking your blog to keep up with whats happening with you in the UK.
    Monday, June 30, 2008 – 10:11 AM
    Elizabeth great to hear from you! The UK looks great and I’m glad to hear you are
    Happy!! I will follow your blog….
    Monday, June 30, 2008 – 10:37 AM
    EH, The UK is so beautiful, hope you can share more photos of your journey.
    Monday, June 30, 2008 – 10:52 AM
    Elizabeth, I have been thinking of you and wondering how your “England venture” was working for you, but I am
    just getting over pneumonia, so I just did not feel like getting on the computer.
    You look SO HAPPY! I am happy for you. The countryside in your pictures are beautiful.
    Let me know whenever (IF) you come back to GA and we will get together.
    My best regards to you. You deserve all the happiness you have found! YOU GO GIRL!!
    Monday, June 30, 2008 – 06:44 PM
    carla levingston
    Elizabeth, I am so happy for you! I was thinking about you the other day and wondering how you were doing. Your
    photos are beautiful and you seem so content. Best wishes with everything…you deserve it.
    Monday, June 30, 2008 – 08:36 PM
    3 cheers to you
    happy trails , love , onward with your journey . glad you have enough ass to
    get off yours and follow your gut instinct , Sherwood Forest befits you well !
    hope i can manage to figure out this communication medium enough to tell a few stories about your self from my point of view .
    Cheers to you and yours ! To my best friend ever and everlasting friendship forever , Fricker
    Monday, June 30, 2008 – 09:01 PM
    Liz, I told you that the more mature, seasoned men are keepers! Your journey is one that is admired and
    appreciated. Your are a realist, and I am blessed that our paths crossed. I will always remember you.. May GOD
    richly bless you and your new found love always!
    All the Best!
    Tuesday, July 1, 2008 – 08:33 PM
    Hi Elizabeth, the only thing that I can say is you Go Girl!
    Tuesday, July 1, 2008 – 08:50 PM
    so happy with you sweetie! looking forward to more…
    Wednesday, July 2, 2008 – 08:42 AM
    I am so glad you found this life ~everyone deserves to be happy!
    Wednesday, October 22, 2008 – 05:41 PM

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