Yesterday I had a very special visitor.  He traveled 80 miles to see me in spite of being at work until lunchtime and really brightened my day.  Later in the evening,  I had an amazing chat with my son.  Nothing remarkable there one might think.  But I wonder how many 19-year-old lads sit down and really talk to their Mom’s these days?  I also wonder how many Mom’s (or Dad’s) really make time to listen fully and intently to what their teenagers have to say?

As a mother I’ve tried to be a good parent but more than anything I’ve tried to be a true friend.   True friends can tell each other anything – hopes, fears, dreams, aspirations – and they love each other unconditionally. Unconditional love is, I think, quite rare these days but where it exists it’s blissful.

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the things that make us happy because at the moment I feel deluged with advertisements for expensive jewellery, perfumes, clothing and accessories.  I see the (fake) smiles of the actors/actresses/models presented with these gifts and I read the subliminal messages.  Buy this, you’ll be ecstatically happy and feel exquisitely gorgeous.  Give this and your loved one will be overwhelmed and overjoyed.   I wonder how many of us are taken in by the hyperbole.

In my world, blissful can’t be found in or through material goods.  It’s a state of mind, body and spirit engendered by meaningful interactions.  It might be stroking a purring cat, having a great conversation, sharing a hug, walking in the park, watching the moon rise or the sun set. I am a creature of simple pleasures.

Now don’t get me wrong, I like choosing gifts for my loved ones and I very much enjoy the act of giving, but I’ve come to appreciate that the greatest gifts cannot be bought or sold.  Unconditional love isn’t available on Amazon. A shoulder to cry on can’t be found on eBay.  Supermarkets don’t do buy one get one free offers on hugs.   Only we can give each other these precious gifts and no cash is necessary.