My 20-year-old niece suffers from the affliction commonly called Down Syndrome. She functions on a high level and even participated in the cheer-leading squad in her public school. She loves collecting things and has a large collection of horse statues and an enormous collection of pretty rocks.
Recently she was a bride’s maid in my brother’s wedding. She basked in every minute, and although she is a funny trickster, during the rehearsal she agreed to the importance of being sober-minded during the actual holy occasion.
So many were so happy for her.
The other bride’s maid was a niece of the bride, a young lady about the same height and build as my niece, but only ten years old. The two young maids bonded instantly and became fast friends. Dressed and coiffed alike, pressed into the same elegant lady mold, choreographed, required to wait and be quiet together, how could they have become anything but fast friends?
Several weeks have passed since that wedding, since that time of sweet, girlish friendship, but my niece has continued remembering her new friend, as she does all friends. She has spoken often of the girl, how they have so much in common, how they both love that their dresses were “twirlable”, how happy she is to have made a new friend.
We all wondered if the other niece would remember her back. Heartbreak between girlfriends is too common these days, among girls who see each other often, let alone girls who met once and will not often see each other again. We waited . . .
My niece received a wrapped package in the mail, yesterday, and it was given to her while we were celebrating several happy family occasions at a restaurant.
The gift included a bff card! Of course!
But the simple perfection of the contents of the package brought tears to my eyes.
Somewhere in this country lives a sweet, ten-year-old girl who understands gifting: My niece carefully unwrapped the heavy and rattling package to reveal a pretty dish of my niece’s favorite color, purple.
And in it? Pretty rocks.
Hand-selected and washed spotless.
For her collection, of course.