I have a way of placing a sentimental value on certain items. This means I own a few things that are irreplaceable.
There's a tooled leather checkbook cover that Cliff's boss's son, Tom, made for me in 1969. I'd cry if anything happened to that. I don't know why it means so much, except that it was a gift out of the blue, entirely unexpected.
There's my "lucky hat", a warm, knit stocking-cap that originally belonged to Cliff's sister's second husband. Don't ever try taking that thing; I can't find another like it; I've tried.
The same with the hooded sweatshirt my son got in basic training twenty-two years ago, the one that says, "Pain purifies". It has my son's last name on the back, in big letters (mine too, of course). When I'm cremated, I want to be wearing that sweatshirt. At my age, I realize that pain had darned well better purify, because I'm going to be dealt plenty of it.
There's this huge, stainless steel pan I use when I'm making spaghetti for company, or cooking a double batch of noodles. Cliff's sister gave me this thing years ago so I'd be able to "feed the masses", back when I cooked for the family all the time.
No other pan could signify the love my sister-in-law put into that gift. If anything happened to make it unusable, I'd turn it into a flower pot before I'd toss it in the trash.
I value things like that, things that remind me that "somebody cared". It wasn't Christmas. It wasn't my birthday. Somebody just wanted to give me a gift for the heck of it.
It's a big, harsh, uncaring world out there. We'd better cherish every gift of love we're given.
Like, for instance, the gift God gave us when Jesus came into the world.