Rhonda Begos-Zolecki

Rhonda Begos-Zolecki

The Gift

Boy, the holidays can be really stressful. I went to Walmart on Sunday, the last Sunday before Christmas, to pick up a few items that we needed at the house, and it was packed. People were fighting over parking spaces, people bumping into each other, all kinds of craziness going on. Everyone trying to get that perfect gift for their kids, for their parents, for that special someone. 


I thought a lot about his concept when I got home. Gifts. What they are. How meaningful they are. What makes it last. 


When Mark asked me to marry him last year right around this time, it was the most beautiful proposal....it was so simple. I was wrapping gifts for him, like I do every year. I wrapped like 10 gifts, and he was looking at me really weird:) And I kept asking him what was wrong, and he said "nothing." 


After I wrapped the last gift, he said "Oh, I have one more gift I'd like for you to wrap", and he pulls out a ring box, and opens it up. I asked him what he was doing, and the words he said to me were so heartfelt and beautiful and awesome. I had a hard time believing that what he was doing was real. And I just sobbed profusely. 


Now - I knew the ring that Mark got for me wasn't real. Not because it didn't look real, because I knew that Mark had struggled with finances for a long time, raising two boys on his own. He felt awful that he couldn't afford something more expensive for me, even though I never asked for anything more. He and I at one point went to Kohl's Department store and found a really nice cubic zirconium ring (I know I spelled that wrong), which I now wear, and a ring for him. I think there was a small part of him that still felt bad that carets, and heavy pricing, and bling bling wasn't involved. 


He could have asked me to marry him with a cracker jack ring, and I would have cried the same way I did when he asked me with the ring he gave me. 


Mark has given me his heart, his soul. When we've had disagreements, we've talked it through, said I'm sorry and hurt when the other person was hurting. Mark has been there for me in ways that I never thought anyone could be. He has supported me fully, and made me laugh more than anyone ever has. When I see what he does for other people - like he was standing in line just a couple of days ago, and woman needed help paying for his groceries. Mark took the money he had out of his pocket and gave it to her. Not because he was trying to be nice - this is who he is, and always has been and it's easy and automatic for him to be this way. 


There is no gift during Christmas, on a birthday, an anniversary or even during a proposal that compares to what this man gives me every single day. Those gifts last a lifetime. I can look back and remember times we've had, and how awesome they've been...how much we've grown as people. That is the gift. All of that other stuff fades - those memories and pictures in your mind last a lifetime. 


Gifts are what come from your heart, not just from a price tag or what you pay for. I thank God for the gift of love in my life during this holiday season and hope that the gifts keep on giving in the new year:) 

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