Word Count: 497
By Peg Scarano
She was given the gift on a special birthday by a special friend. It was a case containing six different bottles of wine. She wasn’t crazy about wine but it was the labels that were intriguing and made the gift so unique. Each denoted a particular occasion needing to be shared with someone special. That was easy. She had already found her special someone.
The first bottle was opened on the day she and her significant other closed on their house. It was labeled “First Big Purchase!” They bought a split level house with woods and wildlife on two sides at the end of a quiet street. While there was a lot of work to be done to make it their own, it belonged to both of them and was already filled with hopes and dreams. The new wine rack held the other five bottles of wine perfectly.
The second bottle, labeled “Your Engagement”, was opened several months later. This one was enjoyed with conversations of dates, venues, flowers, friends and family while looking at the sparkling ring on her finger signifying their bright future together.
On one visit, I noticed a third bottle was missing. Thinking back, I recalled one was labeled “First Fight”. Oh no. I didn’t want to go there, but I smiled with the knowledge they must have had a fun evening soothing their wounds with that one.
Bottle number four was consumed a few months later. It was labeled “Our Wedding”. I was there for the wedding, but I was not there for the consumption of the wine and rightly so! I can only assume and hope it was enjoyed a few days after the wedding and before the honeymoon which was two weeks later.
We were there for bottle number five which was labeled, “First Anniversary”. This bottle was celebrated with 80 other family members and close friends as a combination Cinco de Mayo, Kentucky Derby, completion of the back deck and first anniversary party on a warm evening in early May. This gathering was even more pleasurable than the wedding because the stress level was so much lower compared to the previous year.
A few weeks later, we were together again to celebrate the baptism of little Henry Stone – my grandson and her godson. She got home from work late on Friday night. We were tired from the long drive and had had our cocktails before dinner. The dishes were in the dishwasher and we were thinking about going to bed when she came over to the couch and said, “I really think you guys should try this particular wine.” I politely declined and said I had had my share of adult beverages and was ready for bed. She forcibly handed me the bottle and pleaded, “Oh, Mom…Just one glass.” With a long sigh of exasperation, I looked at her closely. She was luminous. I should have known. The bottle was labeled, “First Baby”! It was the best gift ever.