"Grandma, I love you. Happy Birthday!" Melanie said.
"Why thank you, Melly," Grandma beamed and gave her a big hug.
"I have something for you because it's your special day." Melanie revealed a small bag of presents for her grandma.
She first pulled out rose -- long-stemmed, blood red, and lovely. Soon the air was filled with its sweet fragrance.
"A rose for you because you are beautiful," the brown-eyed woman said.
The grandmother took the rose and inhaled. She remembered the many roses she'd been given and great love she had known through the years. She thanked Melanie who quickly pulled out another item.
It was a box of chocolates.
"A box of chocolates for you, because no matter the highs and lows of our day, one must always remember to stop and savor the sweetness of life," she said.
"Thank you, I shall remember that as I enjoy them," Grandma said already imagining enjoying them later.
Next Melanie revealed a small compass, the kind any hiker might carry as he navigated the hills and valleys of life.
"A compass for any dark nights in your heart. It will always lead you home to us, and always keep you true to your path," Melanie said.
The grandmother smiled and took the compass. Many twists and turns had filled her life. She'd had many adventures and seen many places. There had been great joys like falling in love, having her sons, her first grandchild. There had been sorrows of loss, disappointment, and great grief, but she had always found shelter in her family.
"Thank you, Melly, for this token of home," she said her eyes soft and filled with loving memories.
Then Melanie pulled the final present from the bag. It was a simple piece of paper and there was a poem on it which she read through happy tears.
One night I heard on the wind
a voice so kind and sweet
of love it whispered to me.
"Always remember you are this --
Beautiful and brave.
Always remember I am here
to hold you on even the hardest day.
For you are love, my angel girl.
That is all you are.
Never are you alone.
I'm here in every breeze.
I light your path in every star.
I'll hold you in my heart."
And I cried for joy.
I smiled in thanks.
For this unearned blessing
this love and grace.
For this angel that chose
to walk with me on this earth.
Never again could I
fail to see life's worth.
"I will sing of you."
I whispered back to the wind.
And in my greatest joys,
my greatest sorrows,
in every word I write,
my every dream,
lives the love you gave to me.
Thank you so much for being the blessing you are in my life.
I love you beyond words.