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15 November 2009

Ask mecha: Help me pick out an unusual present (not for Christmas) Go inside for more deets, don't want them on the front page.[More:]

A loved one is very unexpectedly and very quickly dying. I will see her for what will probably be the last time at Thanksgiving. She is very weak and has already withdrawn from life a great deal. Dark room, not eating, a great deal of pain, little conversation.
I love this person tremendously, and I want to give her one last gift. I want to give her something small, beautiful, intricate and shiny. I want to place it by her bedside for her to find, I don't want to give it to her and have it be obvious that "this is the last present you will ever get from me, you sweet dying person, you". I want her to go back to her dark little rabbit warren of a bedroom after Thanksgiving dinner and find a pretty little object that she can hold in her hand and admire for being pretty/shiny/intricate/interesting. It can have moving parts or not, it just has to be small. Really small, something that can fit into her hand.
Right now she has a dinosaur mobile hanging over her bed, she's really into ninjas, and my inspiration from this comes from Sufjan Stevens' "Casmir Pulaski Day", kind of.
I would have posted this anonymously over at that other place, but that doesn't seem to be an option right now, so I am asking the bunnies in a more public forum to help me to find that special last trinket to give to someone who has been very dear to me and who I am already missing very much.
Thanks in advance. I am a bit blinded by the grief right now to even know what I am looking for, I can't even picture it in my head, I am looking to you dear bunnies for inspiration and suggestions. You've always been so good about that, and I love you for it.
I'm so sorry.

What about a little locket? Then she can wear it and have a physical reminder of you right there.
posted by mdonley 15 November | 14:09
A nice wish stone, perhaps?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 15 November | 14:10
I would go with a music box. The kind that's just innards and a winding thing. A search on "music box movements" pulls up a couple places online you can buy them. It's small and shiny; it does something when you touch it, but it's not overwhelming with its complexity.

I'm so sorry to hear this.
posted by crush-onastick 15 November | 14:32
msali, I'm so sorry. This is a sweet and noble gesture you're making.

On Etsy, I found this tiny object museum. If you have artifacts from shared experiences with your loved one, you could put an item in each bottle, maybe with a small scrolled piece of paper detailing a brief history behind each object. Memories and stories might be very welcome to her.

(But this might have the whiff of "last present" that you're trying to avoid. If so, ignore it.)

A music box is a great idea, as is a locket or a wish stone. If you give a music box, you might put a locket or a wish stone inside.

Another thought: a puzzle ring? Small, intricate, shiny.

Again, I'm so sorry.
posted by Elsa 15 November | 15:01
I am so sorry. I wish I could think of something else to say or of a suitable gift to add to the list of those already suggested, but I can't. Sometimes I think my upbringing and the job I do has made me cynical and hard-hearted but then I read something like this and find I'm in floods of tears.

What a lovely thing, to think of a tiny thing to give to her.
posted by essexjan 15 November | 15:12
A few more possibilities:

- a handmade silver book pendant, with real turning pages
- here's a book pendant locket: it has an owl on the front, and opens to reveal a two-portrait locket interior.
- since you mentioned the dinosaur mobile, maybe she'd like this dinosaur egg pendant, which opens to reveal the baby dinosaur inside.
posted by Elsa 15 November | 15:37
Netsuke immediately came to mind. They are small, intricate, beautiful, and full of character. There are some here (Cat in Robe is nice) and here and here. I'm so sorry to hear of this sadness.
posted by Miko 15 November | 15:54
I am so sorry to hear of this, msali. I can't think of anything that hasn't been suggested (and wonderful suggestions, at that). I think your gift is touching and remarkable and so, so sweet.. I am so sorry for your grief, both now and to come.
posted by redvixen 15 November | 16:21
Thanks all for the suggestions and well wishes. Elsa, the rings are really pretty, and definitely something that would normally be exactly what I am looking for, but unfortunately because of swelling, rings are impractical at this point. Miko, I swear I knew you in some other iteration of what we call life, because netsuke, albeit something I had never heard of before today, is just the ticket. I just ordered Cat in Robe, because that one is my favorite as well. I also ordered some pretty little silver pieces stamped with traditional symbols of love, appreciation, welcome and respect. I also plan on going to my local rock shop and picking out some pretty stones (I have always loved stones). I am going to put everything all together in a little pouch I will sew and leave it under her pillow. This little project of mine is about the only thing keeping me from losing it completely right now.
The last line of the Sufjan Stevens song, for those who haven't heard it, is "And he takes and he takes and he takes", and for the life of me, I can't get that line or that sentiment out of my head.
posted by msali 15 November | 16:58
Oh ali, I am so sorry. Let me know if there's anything i can do for you from here.
posted by Stewriffic 15 November | 17:19
I'm so, so sorry. Your idea is beautiful, msali. I did see a lovely meditation sphere, but the pouch with beautiful little things is so perfect.
posted by taz 15 November | 18:07
I'm so sorry that you're having to go through this, (((msali))).
posted by deborah 15 November | 19:19
posted by mightshould 16 November | 09:47
Some encouraging news from Matt, || 1905 video of San Francisco