The 98 Cent Gift


There is something incredibly heartwarming about receiving a gift.

At least I think so.

My favorite gifts to give and receive are the gifts you get for no reason at all.

It’s not your birthday or a holiday – instead someone gives you a gift; a small token because they were thinking of you.

It may be something as simple as your favorite candy, a pack of sticky notes or a coffee on your desk – but it’s the meaning of the gift that makes it so special.

It says: I saw this and thought of you, I appreciate you, or maybe – I thought this would make you smile today.

Yesterday I received a letter in the mail – but this was so much more than just an ordinary letter, this was an incredibly special gift.


My mom passed away 15 years ago, and no matter how big that number gets, I still miss her.


One of the things I miss the most are the stories about her.

With her parents both gone and my dad’s memory not what it was years ago because of his accident, there are things I wish I could know about her, but have no one to ask.

And then I received yesterday’s letter.

The fact that it arrived the day after Mother’s Day made it that much better.

The four page letter is titled: Remembering My Friend Sharon Conditt

It is written by my mom’s friend Jeanette who was not only one of her closest friends, but Jeanette and her late husband Gurden were my mom’s pastors for many years.

Thanks to Jeanette’s gift I now know that my mom was the only girl in most of her preaching classes at Northwest College and she liked that she was “pushing the norm”.

She was an invaluable part of the church she attended in downtown Seattle. Even helping to open and run a coffee shop that ministered to thousands of teens on the streets.

“Her excellent organizational skills, friendly manner and dedication to ministry were attributes any pastor would cherish.”

These are traits I try hard to exemplify in my own life.

Jeanette’s letter went on to say that my mom was a gift giver. Making keepsake books for friends to remember the good times they shared and that she was always writing encouraging cards full of uplifting words for those around her.

She was also a shopper – which comes as no surprise.

Her husband (my dad) was the love of her life and she was constantly bragging on the things he did.

She ended her letter by saying that when it came to my brother and me, “there was nothing she wouldn’t do to make your lives happier”.

I am so thankful to have this letter and to see a small glimpse of what my mom was like before I knew her.


This isn’t just a letter – these are stories that I will hold on to forever and share with my kids.


Thank you Jeanette for taking the time to remember my mom, to write it all down and to share it with me.

It’s an incredibly special gift and I love that it only cost 98 cents.