Love doesn’t fit in a box

By Mir
August 21, 2008

Just a quickie, today, as I’m running around.

Karen Walrond’s Love Thursday post today is about friendships, and it reminded me that although I have a terrible picture to accompany this story, I wanted to share it. [Edit: I came home and the blurry photo was still bothering me, so I took a better one to replace it. Revisionist history! Right here on Woulda Coulda Shoulda!]

Back when Otto and I got married, he took the kids aside the day before the wedding and gave them each a gift. Monkey got a tie clip that matched the one Otto would be wearing, and Chickadee got a necklace. A prayer box necklace.

A prayer box, if you’ve never seen one, is a little box charm designed to hold a prayer—you unhinge it, whisper your prayer inside, and then close it up and wear the necklace, keeping the prayer close to your heart.

At the time, I think that Chickadee may have whispered into the box that she hoped Otto would vaporize and her dad and I would magically fall back in love and remarry. And really, I am being kind in my supposition; it may have been something more violent.

Regardless, she wore the necklace at our wedding, and over time has pulled it out to wear more and more often. Lately she has taken to asking Otto to fasten it for her, when she wears it, too.

Nowadays, Otto and Chickadee are pals, and I suspect the prayers my daughter whispers into her prayer box are very different than the ones she may have thought up a year ago.

For my birthday, Chickadee bought me… a prayer box.

Hers is the square on the right, and mine is the heart on the left.

“It’s so that you can keep YOUR prayers close to your heart, Mama,” she told me. “Just like me. Except yours is a heart, because you always say I’m your heart.”

I whisper prayers of gratitude into my prayer box, fervent thanks for the friendships in my life—my gal-pals, sure, but also the genuine enjoyment of my children, anticipation of the friendship we’ll share when they’re grown, and for the friendship my husband and children are cultivating with each other.

Happy Love Thursday, everyone.


  1. Holly

    Lovely, I’m so glad that things are working out and falling into place.

  2. ChristieNY

    Absolutely beautiful, Mir.

  3. Ariel

    I’m officially in tears :)

  4. Crisanne

    Beautiful. Just beautiful.

  5. Megan

    Lovely that you are sharing this as a family – that the link goes from Otto to Chickie to you.

  6. Lylah

    That is wonderful on so many levels… Thank you for sharing it!

  7. tori

    I am crying because this is so beautiful. You have a very loving home, and you are all so lucky to have each other. I feel the same way about my family.

  8. Beth

    I’m in tears here, Mir. You’re raising an incredible young woman.

    And the other reason I’m crying? I still have the locket my soon-to-be step dad gave me for my 6th birthday. I’ve had to get a longer chain, but I think of him and smile every time I see it.

    Thank you for letting me see the development of a chosen family from the outside; it really adds to the experience of being part of one.

  9. Kim

    This is so lovely! I am so impressed that Otto took each of them aside in the first place, and now that Chickadee wanted to share the prayer box tradition with you. A circle completed in your family.

  10. The Other Leanne

    *takes off glasses, grabs tissue, wipes eyes, blows nose, puts glasses back on*
    That was really sweet. Happy Love Thursday!

  11. Astrogirl426

    Very sweet. I love Love Thursdays!

  12. laurie

    beautiful post!

  13. mamalang

    That Chickie…so sweet. What a great and thoughtful gift for you to receive.

  14. Sharkey

    Just reading this post made me cry. How did you not burst into tears when she said that? Beautiful.

  15. mamalang

    That Chickie…so sweet. What a great and thoughtful gift for you to receive. ANd it won’t let me post…argh

  16. All Adither

    Aw, can we just change this to Mush Thursday.

    Very sweet.

  17. airportsox

    Awww. I really hate crying at work! ;o)

    Happy Love Thursday!

  18. The Other Other Dawn

    That Otto is a classy guy.

    And Chickie? What a doll!

  19. beths dad

    OK, now I am tears. This came to her mother and I as, you have to read this now. You see I am Beth’s dad (see above) as she often has said I am her Dad and ___ was her father. What Beth did not tell you is that the locket she talks about is more than 30 years old. The chain she has is not only longer but the connection is even stronger than it was then.

  20. Amy

    That is cute. I know how hard it can be when family’s are “mixed” so I’m glad to hear that things are working out.

  21. Mandee

    That’s great.

  22. Susan

    I really have to remember not to read Love Thursday without a box of tissue. Beautiful, Mir.

  23. Kathleen


  24. Kristin (aka Krisco)

    Grrrr you always make me just cry. Cut it out!

    : )

  25. macwade

    Isn’t it amazing that daughters can touch our hearts so deeply – for good and bad. Thanks for being willing to share one of the great times.

  26. elizabeth

    that definitely redeems Otto for the barnacle crack.
    and Chickadee can be too sweet for words.
    happy love thursday!

  27. C.


    That was just enough. sniff, slobber. I’m in full sentimental mode now. :P

  28. SoMo

    That one made me tear up. What a nice gift. Never heard of these necklaces and will file them in my gift giving folder in my brain for later use.

  29. emily

    What a great gift that Otto gave her, and the thoughtfulness that she showed when she bought one for you is really wonderful for a girl Chickie’s age. It shows how much love she is getting at home for her to demonstrate it that way.

  30. Randi

    Ooohh! I want a prayer box now! To give away, of course…LOL. Where do you find them? Never mind, the great and powerful Google can help me find one :).

    What a sweet story – thank you!

  31. neecie

    I feel better now that I see that I’m not the only one who got watery-eyed when reading what Chickie said to you!

    I love love, but I love love even more when it is shared between mother and child!

  32. Tanya

    I got chills! So glad all is working out with your new fam.

  33. Mom, Ink.

    Holy moly that Chickadee can be a sweetheart!

  34. Jamie

    Thanks for sharing. I love those prayer boxes. I just found some online and purchased a few for close friends for Christmas.

  35. Terri

    Simply beautiful. Beautifully written, and an even more beautiful moment with your precious girl.

  36. arduous

    Aw man, now I’m crying!!!!!!!!!

  37. Shalet

    Just lovely!

  38. Libby

    Mushy Thursday indeed! That is so sweet. But you need to cut it out people! Between you and Beth and her dad and pregnancy hormones I am a teary mess here. But so happy for all of you!:)

  39. Aimee


  40. Alison C

    blub! What a beautiful tale

  41. Deb

    Crying here too…that was BEAUTIFUL! What a wonderful child you have raised. Happy Love Thursday.

  42. Deb

    Had to add…cried more when I read Beth and her dad’s replies too! How beautiful!

  43. dad

    Yes, daughters are special! Not easy, not predictable, but special.

    I’m going to lobby for weeks to have 8 days so that each one can have 2 Thursdays.

  44. jules

    Great! Snot & Tears.. that’s gonna make for a beautiful evening.

    I need to find another box of tissues now…

    Love ya

  45. pam

    I’d never heard of a prayer box necklace. I love it so so much.

  46. Kate Setzer Kamphausen

    All y’all need to get y’alls’selves some WATERPROOF MASCARA. Love Thursday, even on MIR’s blog, doesn’t faze THIS gal’s eye makeup, no sirree it does not!

    Even on Mir’s blog. Now that’s sayin’ something.

    (For my own Love Thursday, it seems I am proclaiming my love for Maybelline. Yes, it’s true.)

  47. Katie in MA

    Sniff, sniff. My daughter is having (minor) surgery tomorrow and I was just BARELY holding it together. If our friendship is even half as strong as you and Chickie’s when she’s Chickie’s age, we’ll be doing just fine.

    Happy Love Thursday!

  48. sb

    tears in my eyes. Sweet. All of you.

  49. Barbara

    Perfectly sweet and appropriate. Now open that little thing and whisper a blessing on all poor readers and commenters.

  50. Flea

    Awww! *sniff*

  51. Neil

    I honestly have never heard of a prayer box before. What a great… and meaningful concept. It reminds me a bit of how people put prayers on note paper and stick it into the Wailing Wall, but this seems even more powerful because you are saying it with your voice and taking it around with you wherever you go.

  52. David

    Awww. That’s so sweet, on both their parts. What a lovely Love Thursday post.

  53. Heidi

    Absolutely gorgeous.

  54. mama speak

    I welled up too. But Beth & her dad did me in!!!

    I have to reiterate; Otto is a keeper, that he did something this meaningful for both of your children speaks volumes (but then you know that, you married him after all.)

    And that Chickie, she’s a smart one. I guess when she’s having her not so good emotional moments it’s good to remember her good ones like these, which all seem over the top. Then try to remember evenually these will outweigh the others.

  55. Claudious

    I love those prayer boxes, they are so precious, but I think my iphone works so much better, I can put long messages in it, and when I’m bored, it plays music for me. A prayer box is wonderful, but my iphone won (don’t tell my wife)

  56. elswhere

    Thanks for this. My own little chickie is being particularly, er, challenging this week, and it’s nice to be reminded that they DO get more mature, eventually.

  57. Courtenay

    what a great gift. i still wear a heart necklace that my husband gave to me during a long bout of unemployment. it was taxing on our finances and our marriage. we came through it all, hearts intact. thanks for sharing, and making me remember.

  58. Ramblin' Red

    Oh Mir,

    I’m afraid I can’t read your Love Thursdays anymore. Pregnancy is making me bawl out loud!
    So super sweet. I love this!

  59. Shannon

    Awww, I’m tearing up here, that is so sweet.

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