Care Packages

Care Packages


submitted by: Dale


couple dog tags care packageMy “Care Package” was for my newest best friend for her birthday last year.  She lives in New Zealand, I live here in the US.  She had come home from England to care for her terminally ill best girl friend who had been diagnosed with terminal breast cancer.  They had been closest friends since early childhood.

We met a few months after her return home while playing spades online.  Total chance meeting and neither of us was “looking” for anyone.  Well long story short, I had to leave the west coast for the east coast on company business.  I prepared her package as she was staying with her sick friend, caring for the family as she had promised her friend that she would not go to a hospital, and would not go to a hospice, and would not die alone but be at home with her family, right to the end.

She had been sacrificing herself doing all of the necessary things that health care providers do, changing linen 2-3 times a day, feeding not just her friend but her family as well.  Ensuring that all the meds were administered, doing all the housework, doing things with the kids, memory books, errands, shopping, school events, staying up late with her friend early into the morning hours so her friends husband and children could sleep, and still managed to spend time with me online for a few hours 4-5 times a week.

I am a huge movie buff.  She also enjoys movies so I bought her four gifts.  For each gift I then had a movie title as the clue to what the gift was.  Our favorite movie is Hanover Street.  Where Harrison Ford plays an American bomber pilot who meets and falls in love with a British nurse whom he meets in a chance meeting trying to catch a bus.  We sometimes see ourselves as these two.  So I sent her a copy of the film.  The clue was simple enough, “Hanover Street”.

She loves anything WW2 so I knew a friend at the local reserve center and had a pair of real US dog tags done up with Harrison Ford’s character, name, rank service number.  These are “real” dog tags right down to his social security number, but I used my blood type and religious affiliation along with a GI issue necklace. Her clue, “K-9”.

The next item was chocolate truffles.  She is a total chocoholic! So the truffles got the clue “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”  This was the easiest.

Finally I had never given a gift of jewelry before and I knew she loved pearls as she had talked about her most favorite piece of jewelry which was her pearl necklace.  I had asked her once if she liked diamonds or pearls better.  We both celebrate our birthdays in April so I thought for sure it would be diamonds but she surprised me with “Oh pearls, definitely.”  So I went and bought a pair of Mikimoto Blue Lagoon pearl ear rings to go with her necklace.  The brand name of the pearls was also the movie clue “Blue Lagoon”.

The only one she actually got was the truffle and hinted at the dog tags, but she thought the dog tags had been my original dog tags from when I had been in the Navy.  Needless to say, she still talks about that birthday as it was not only fun but helped to make that time of sorrow more bearable not only for her but for her best friend and her family.  It showed her friends 3 children something about having fun through giving gifts even during a time of personal tragedy.