A small and meaningful gift.
Who knew something so small could be so mighty? Sometimes the most memorable gifts are the ones with the best story behind them.
“I wanted you to have this because it made me think of you.”
Two years ago, my friend traveled to Michigan with her family to visit her brother at college. It was a big deal since they lived in Alabama. They got there and spent the weekend walking around the Michigan State University campus and checking out everything East Lancing had to offer. There were amazing buildings, cool restaurants, cold weather, and hockey. My friend’s family loves hockey. So of course when they went to Michigan, they had to go to a Michigan State hockey game.
Before the Game
My friend’s family has great seats. I think they were on the third or fourth row. It was a cold Saturday night and Michigan State was playing Penn State. The venue wasn’t full, but there were several fans wearing their black and green to cheer on the Spartans. My friend and her brother went to the concession stand to buy drinks and snacks for the game. They went back to their seats and the game was about to start.
Let the game begin! The game started out so fun and energetic. Both teams were playing hard during the first period. But once Penn State scores the first time, it seemed to slowly de-escalate from there. Penn State got their momentum going and they were on fire. Now keep in mind, this was a bad season for Michigan State so I’m sure this didn’t boost their morale. But the game continued and Michigan State did not give up.
Bathroom Break Gone Bad
My friend’s family was really into the game, but she started to get bored. She was playing on her phone and not really paying that much attention until she heard cheers. Michigan State was losing 0 – 2. My friend got up to go to the bathroom and before she could even realize what was going on, she somehow got hit with a hockey puck. It came flying over the glass flew into her arm. The combination of shock and the velocity of the hockey puck brought her to the floor. The whole venue gasped. The game paused and her parents came running. My friend was crying. Some of the crying was from pain, but the majority of it was from shock and embarrassment. But luckily she was fine and only left with a massive bruise. Everyone else was just thankful that it didn’t hit her in the head.
My friend insisted she was fine and wanted to stay at the game. Obviously the staff came out to check on her, as well. They asked if she needed paramedics, but my friend continued to insist that she was fine. They asked her if she wanted some water or anything and she graciously accepted the offer. My friend went back to her seat with her family and waited for the game to continue. The staff member came back with more than just water. He carried water, nachos, sour straws, and a hockey puck. He handed it to my friend and said that he wanted her to have all of these things, even the hockey puck.
“You earned it, kiddo.”
Back to Alabama They Go
The next day, my friend and her family flew back to Alabama. They drove home from the airport and unloaded all their luggage. My friend got her suitcase, took it upstairs to her room, and started unpacking. She finally put all of her clothes up and there it was at the bottom of her suitcase. The infamous hockey puck. She had no idea what she was going to do with it. But then, she had an idea.
About two weeks later, it was my 18th birthday. I invited a few close friends to go out to eat and then come back to my house and eat cake. We went out to a nice steakhouse and ate one of the best meals I’ve ever had in my life. They even had this brownie cake with a candle that they brought out for my birthday. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Anyway, we went back to my house and ate cake again. Then I opened presents. By this time, the whole hockey puck thing was completely out of my mind. It came time to open my friend who went to Michigan’s gift. It was a cute little box wrapped in polka dot paper with a bow on top. I tore the bow and paper off and started opening the box. Eventually, I got the box open and it was filled with colorful tissue paper. I threw the paper on the floor and there it was. The hockey puck!!! Under it was a little note that read,
“It is Small, But it is Mighty. Just like you.”
A Gift that Lasts Forever
I’m not going to lie, I teared up. It was a small gift, but it had such a meaningful message behind it. I immediately got up and hugged her. Who knew her getting hit in the arm with a hockey puck at a Michigan State hockey game would make such an impact in both of our lives. I actually ended up getting a shadow box and making wall art from it. I put the, “It is Small, But it is Mighty. Just like you,” picture in the background with tissue paper and the hockey puck inside. It’s still on my wall to this day. It’s definitely the most memorable gift I’ve ever had, and also one of the most thoughtful. My friend and I still joke about it today.
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