IMG_1539My husband never buys me flowers.  He doesn’t spend money on diamond rings and sparkly things.  Nope, no sports car, designer clothes or fancy hand bags either.  I seriously wouldn’t even know what was ‘upscale’ if he did.  OK, maybe if I had seen something on facebook about it a day or so earlier.  But let a week go by and I’d for sure have no idea if anything was ‘Totes McGoats’ any longer.

So what did he get me for Christmas?  The easy answer is film equipment.  He got me a green screen, new lighting, crazy photo storage…  Every box I opened I geeked out just a little bit more.

Throughout the year he surprises me with clothes that flatter, not break the bank.  He bought me a meat clever handbag and a Ouija board phone cover for our 10th anniversary, guaranteeing that I had married the perfect man.

But none of that could compare to the greatest gift he gave me this year.

When the Christmas boxes had been broken down and the wrapping paper was thrown away Jason called me over and said, “There’s one last present I haven’t given you yet”.  Quite honestly, I didn’t know what to expect.

He led me over to his computer where he opened a file called ‘Julie’s Writing’.

I was born in the 70’s.  I started writing as soon as my fingers could hold a pen.  What I wrote was down on paper.  Yes, actual, physical paper.  I’ve been lugging around the same green file folder for a zillion years, spilling over with random thoughts, stories and poems scribbled on notebook paper, old tablets and the back of menus and placemats leftover from my endless days of waitressing angst.  I often assumed it would all be thrown into the incinerator along with my tired bones one day if I didn’t manage to leave behind someone who might want to know what thoughts I had been hoarding all these years…

I called it my brain.  I called it my heart on the outside.  That folder meant more to me than I could explain, but Jay knew.

He sat one day, feeding each piece of my past through the scanner, one after the other, after the other…  He’s running a company, raising two kids, helping me nurture a new business, cooking his butt off every night but somehow found time to copy a zillion words, a million thoughts, a lifetime of random memories and feelings of a girl who would be truly devastated if they ever, ‘poof’, disappeared.

I don’t think that I expressed how much it really meant to me properly because, when I realized what he had done, I was kind of in shock and slightly scared at the same time.  Everyone wants to leave a legacy, but at the same time, in this day and age, we also want to orchestrate the perfect legacy to leave.  Jay showed me, in that single moment, that ALL the words I’ve ever put down on paper were the perfect legacy and feeling the need to manipulate them any more was unnecessary.

In that moment, he showed that my family’s appreciation for who I was, am and one day will be is, by far, the best legacy I can possibly leave.IMG_1539