My neighbor, who is also my first cousin, came home the other day to discover that his ATV had been stolen. My mind immediately leapt back to the year our oldest daughter turned five. Her little red bike was stolen from our yard and I wrote this letter to the local paper:
“Dear Editor- A little 5-year-old girl is without her beloved red bike. It was a beaten, battered old thing, put together from pieces of other bikes. But it was hers. Then someone stole it from the yard, three feet from our front door. I have only one thing to say to the thief: You had to be very desperate or very cruel to do such a thing. We do not have the money to replace the bike and our daughter will miss it for a long time to come. If you have any heart at all, you will return it in the dark, as you stole it. No questions will be asked.”
We didn’t get her bike back, but a young boy read the letter. He had just gotten a new, bigger bike for Christmas and called the newspaper. He generously gave our daughter his old bike, which was in better shape than hers. We were touched and she was thrilled! It was a real lesson in the kindness of strangers.
We have often been the recipients of such kindnesses. One Christmas our son was in the hospital. I was amazed by the number of people who went out of their way to visit not only our son, but all the children, during the holiday week. I still have the ornament that a 4H group gave him. We forget sometimes that hospitals are filled during the holidays with children in pain.
There have been times when our children would not have had gifts if we hadn’t received help from our parents or friends or charitable organizations. Perhaps that’s why I make sure that I give at least one “angel” gift each year. This year I was blessed to give gifts to two young children. I love being “anonymous”! It makes the shopping and giving even more joyful. And I want to congratulate my granddaughter on saving enough money to buy her own “angel” gift. That gave me such a thrill!
I found something this week that I thought I had lost. Many people know that my husband and I met at a hospital party. He was a respiratory therapist and I was an EKG technician. What they don’t know is that we dated for several months and then for a variety of reasons (mine), we didn’t see each other for a year. The next Christmas I sent him a card. I guess he thought that meant I was over my “reasons” because he immediately called me. We resumed dating and were married the following March. Well…while going through some papers this week I found the Christmas card! Yep. The one I sent him in 1971! When I read the message I started laughing: “May your Christmas be a happy one and may its promise be fulfilled in the New Year.” Maybe I was smarter than I thought!
Have a great day and get ready…the New Year is sneaking up on us.