Gifting Myself

I gave myself a gift today.

My older son and I went to Japan over a year ago for his Make-a-wish trip. One of the things he chose as gifts for his friends was tenugui-handkerchief type fabrics that are long rectangular in shape, and are used for wrapping around the head, as a handkerchief, a napkin, for wrapping a gift, “anything and everything”, as Dominic says. I helped him pick out a few, and kept one in my draw for the past year and a half, waiting for the right time to give as a gift to… someone.

The other day, Dominic loaned me his tenugui to cover my eyes so I could sleep with a light on in the next room; he knows I need near-total darkness to get to sleep at night. It was then that I remembered the tenugui still wrapped neatly in the pretty paper from Japan, tucked into a gift wrap envelope with a dainty bow; the counter attendant at the store treated each individual tenugui that we bought in the same manner and I had one put away in my gift drawer, still folded as it was from the department store.

Why was I saving this? I had not bought one for myself after spending a week in Japan.

Today I gave this one to myself.

Something else I was saving was a nightshirt. It’s black, and I think quite pretty. Yes, I was “saving” a nightshirt. I was not saving it as a gift to give away to someone, but a different kind of gift. I may someday be married, and I want something new, and pretty, and…. romantic…. This nightshirt is nothing that would embarrass a family member, but it makes me feel pretty.

So, I kept this in the back of my closet for ‘someday.’

I could find the man of my dreams next week, or someone I already know might be my Prince Charming. Or, I  could get hit by a bus tomorrow and the nightshirt will get tossed in a bag and donated to a woman’s shelter without me ever wearing it. ‘Someday’ might come, and it might not.

This weekend I’m going away with a girlfriend and each of us taking one daughter. It’s a working weekend for her, but it’s a getaway still for both of us. I am packing the nightshirt-for myself. Romance starts in one’s own heart, and this weekend I decided that waiting to feel pretty for someone else makes about as much sense as going to Japan, buying a stack of the most popular and practical souvenir the country offers, and not keeping one for myself.

Linda Turner
Linda Turner
Linda Turner is a writer and photographer for her blog Dancing with Scapulars, where she chronicles the journey with her children toward Heaven. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Troy State University, with studies in Human Services, Corrections, and Criminal Justice, and is trained as a labor doula; she is presently trying to figure out on which of those paths she should trod the more. Linda's writing focuses on themes of healing, compassion, and moving forward through trials, drawing from her life experiences as a Catholic home-schooling single mom, as a mother of a childhood cancer survivor, and with her ministry as a photographer with Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. She lives in the Texas countryside in a fixer-upper farmhouse with her flocks of children, sheep, and ducks, one German Shepherd- and far too many cats.


  1. A very touching story. Made me a little sad but it nice that you do something for yourself. We all should from time to time. Thank you for sharing Strong Ink with a dash of tenderness. Sorry didn’t pick up my name the first time.