The typical holiday reminders have been curbside or packed in the attic for weeks. However, in our home, we have decided to keep the most treasured of Christmas gifts in daily view as a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas.
My husband and I have become close friends with a female senior citizen at a nearby nursing home since 2005. Our dear friend, Mrs. C., is 86 and has been losing vision in her right eye for years. Her left eye hasn’t had vision for many years. Knowing she had out-of-town relatives visiting her Dec. 25, we went to visit her the next day. We knew from talking with the staff that her vision was virtually gone, and that she had a procedure done at Emory earlier in the month.
We hugged and exchanged Christmas greetings, and as I sat on her bed, she told me to find our present on the bed. I looked around and found a small brown paper bag. I lifted it up and asked her if it was the gift, and she said, “It’s the only thing I could find to put it in.” I opened it up and saw several folded dollar bills and a handful of coins. I was choked up and said, “Mrs. C, thank you.” The three of us continued with our weekly visit. Please remember, she has no vision.
I emptied the paper bag once home and counted the currency. It equaled $15.57. Tears filled my eyes as I recalled the “poor widow’s contribution” in Mark 12:44: “For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”
Our dear Mrs. C is a retired school teacher of 34 years and a widow for many, many years. She had no biological children, but she and her husband took in many children during their marriage.
I wrapped a ribbon around this treasured little brown bag and placed it under our Christmas tree. From Dec. 26, it has found a different place in our home where we see it daily as a reminder of the little things that count.
We are reminded of the true spirit of gift-giving, be it in December or any month. The generous, loving, spirit of a visually impaired 86-year-old widow has left a huge imprint on our hearts.