Saturday, March 11, 2017

A Need or a Want? (SOL17 #11)

When I was a little girl I distinctly remember shopping with my mom and our good family friend, Pattie, for a communion dress. We walked through what seemed like the endless aisles looking for a dress to fit my tall, lanky body. I wasn't as interested in shopping for a dress, so I wandered off to the jewelry department with Pattie.

I looked at all the necklaces hanging on the displays, but my eye was drawn to the heart shaped necklaces with names on them. In the middle of the small white heart were names written in script writing, and below was the meaning of the name. I searched and found Katie. I was elated. 

I dragged my mom away from the dresses and begged for the necklace. She listened to all of my crazy reasons why this necklace was a "must have." She said no. I was heartbroken and I'm sure began complaining about how life isn't fair, and in my 8 year old mind I was positive that I had the meanest mom in the entire world.

Pattie pulled me aside and started to talk me down from my dramatic state. She explained to me the difference between needs and wants and the importance of having the things you need, and sometimes having to make difficult decisions about things that you want. She went on to try to tell me that you don't always get everything that you want, but that I was blessed enough to have everything that I needed and that I should be grateful. She asked me one simple question at the end of our talk. "Katie, is it a need or a want?" I'm not sure what I replied, but I hope I went along with her message that day. 

A few weeks later on my First Communion Day we had a party with our family and friends at our house. As I opened up cards, there was one box. I was most excited to open that one because what eight year old wants to open a bunch of cards. In the box was that necklace. On the packaging there appeared a special note. 


Now, over 20 years later I still think about Pattie said to me and use that question to make important decisions. I can still hear her voice asking me "Is it a need, or a want?" 


Today, my family is driving up to her house to visit for the day. We still get together, but it's not nearly as often as when I was a kid. I plan on wearing that necklace (if it still fits) to remind her of that special day when she truly made a difference to me. 

12 comments:

  1. oh my, I love this slice, I love her lesson and that she gave it to you as a gift...and the note she wrote! Just precious! :-)

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  2. What a beautiful story! I appreciate how the necklace means so much more to you from the lesson than it would have otherwise. :)

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    1. Thank you for your comment! She is a definitely a special lady and I'm glad I kept the necklace all of these years!

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  3. Wow, how wonderful you kept the original label. Such a lovely and thoughtful gift. It seems like a life lesson that stays with you. Sometimes I find it hard t discern differences between want and need, especially with matters of the heart.

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    1. I wish I could take credit for keeping the label, but that was all my mom. She actually put it in a photo album for me to keep.

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  4. Joelle Charbonneau has a super-creepy YA novel that was published sometime in the last few years that totally builds itself upon differentiating between the two. I couldn't help but think of it when I read the title of your post and your own life lesson.

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    1. I'll have to add that one to my list! Thanks for the comment!

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  5. This is a beautiful memory. Will you share your writing with Patti when you visit her? She would love knowing she made such an impact.

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    1. I did in fact share with her. She loved it!

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  6. This post got me kind of teary. I love it. I think I might use her wise words with myself, and my kids. Seems like a pretty special lady. :)

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    1. She's the best! Thanks for your comment!

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