Friday, December 14, 2012

Day 344, December 14

   The following year, Dorothy was again expecting her out-of-

town relatives for the holidays.  She wanted to be able to

entertain them with a few treats but bemoaned her lack of funds.

     Again, I shelved my pride.  Again, I emailed and called

friends.  Again, Dorothy's friends responded with generosity,

despite a downturn in the economy.

     With the $300 we received, we bought a gift certificate to

the grocery store, slipped it in a card, and presented it to her

a week before her relatives were due to arrive.

     Tears gathered in her eyes.  "It's too much.  It's too


     "It's exactly right," I said.  "Exactly right for a special


     We took Dorothy shopping and encouraged her to splurge on a

few delicacies as well as the essentials for Christmas dinner.

Chocolates and cherries.  Crabcakes and pasta salad.  Sparkling

apple juice and eggnog.  All found their way into her shopping


     She laughed delightedly over every extravagance, pressed my

hand, then laughed again.

     After the holidays, she called and regaled me with stories

of her family's pleasure in the unexpected feast.

     Sadly, Dorothy passed away six months later.  At the funeral

service held in our church, her brother spoke and thanked members

of the congregation for caring so tenderly for his sister.  Among

other things, he recounted the Christmas gifts.

     I looked around at the faces of those attending and saw the

same individuals and families who had contributed so freely to

gifts for our dear friend.

     Dorothy's spirit lives on, and I imagine her in heaven

laughing at a joke and reminding me not to "drive like an old


     I say a prayer, grit my teeth, and race down the street,

hoping Dorothy is proud of me.

1 comment:

  1. Dorothy is proud of you, I have no doubt. This Christmas story reminds me of the year that she made the birthday cards for every sister in the ward. I'm not sure why it does. Maybe it's because when I received my card, I could see how much time, care, and love had gone into it. It was Dorothy all over.