ADD VALUE by David McLaughlan
It’s just a thought. But give me a moment and see if it works for you.
If someone does a good thing … well … it’s down to them … it’s their story. The credit, the kudos, whatever, are all theirs, right? Well, yes … and no.
Jackie was at work in the hairdressing salon. Her baby-bump was plainly visible, but she was learning to work around it. And, to be honest, she was quite enjoying the attention it generated in a working environment that was almost exclusively female.
She was cutting the hair of a woman who had never been to the salon before and they were chatting happily about life, pregnancy, everything. Then the woman asked if Jackie’s mom was a knitter. If she was, the woman was sure she would be busy knitting a bundle of clothes for her new granddaughter of grandson.
Jackie, didn’t miss a snip. She’s a professional. She said she loved hand-knitted stuff and that would be really nice – but her mom had died when Jackie was a little girl. Jackie had never learned to knit. So, it would probably be shop-bought clothes.
A few weeks later Jackie turned up for work and her supervisor handed her a parcel. The day before, Jackie’s day off, a woman had come in and left this for her. Inside was a bundle of truly beautiful, hand-knitted baby clothes.
Jackie’s mom hadn’t been able to knit for her grandchild, so a stranger, with the heart of an angel, had stepped in and did it for her.
Now that’s a beautiful story. And all credit would go to that woman for her kindness.
Except that it happened almost twenty years ago. That baby bump is now a handsome, athletic young man.
But Jackie kept one of those knitted tops in a memories box and every once in a while when things get tough it reminds her that there is still plenty of kindness out there. Telling me the story she will happily share with anyone given a chance, she could still feel the tears of appreciation gathering.
The woman never came back to the salon as far as Jackie knows, but two decades later Jackie still looks out for her, and there are very few things she wants as much as the opportunity to tell that woman, Thank You.
The gift was a kind one, very kind, but the memory it could have been left behind as her son outgrew those clothes. Life goes on, after all.
Jackie didn’t allow that to happen. As far as she is concerned the story is all about that stranger in the salon, but by keeping the memory close to her heart and by her hope of one day being allowed to show her appreciation, I think Jackie has added to the gift.
She has taken something special and polished it, preserved it and passed it on to others.
The giver deserves credit for the gift, but the receiver has his or her part to play as well. We can be passive recipients, or we can be people who add value.
So, here we are with the gift of another day. You might have the gift of friends, you might have the gift of your health. You choose the gift.
Then tell me – whatcha gonna do with it?
David McLaughlan copyright 2009 email@example.com
David is a Scottish writer who started off writing "whatever turns a buck." His story, From a Flood To a Hug was previously featured on 2TheHeart. These days he's finding God in little things. It doesn't pay as well (in this world) but he's a happier guy for it. Check out his site!
The Letter Box:
Dear Jo - I thoroughly enjoyed your story "Care Packages"! It reminded me to not only remember acts of kindness to strangers, but to start with my own family. Thank you for sharing this wonderful memory of your father.
God bless, Barbara Jo
Dear 2TheHeart - Care Packages was a wonderful story! My dad used to leave little surprises like this for me and it encouraged me to write my own story. I hope to someday see my story published on 2 TheHeart too. Thank you for the reminder of how precious time with our loved ones is. Love, Hollie in NY
2theheart: I loved the story "Care Packages"! When I was a kid, my mom and dad and I would fill up a box once a month and take it to a needy family. Sometimes it would be my own uncle, or a cousin ----just anyone who needed it. I will never forget the feeling of giving and doing it without any praise.....just quiet, secret kind deeds that I think impacted us more than the people we left care packages for. Thank you for this fantastic story! - M.M. in TX
Susan, thank you for sending this story to me! This was MY father and mother too. My parents would always have a few bags for me to take home when we left after Sunday dinner with them. If we didn’t come over that weekend for some reason, daddy would drop it off. A chicken, bread, goodies for the children, toilet paper, a few twenty dollar bills in an envelope down in the bag….My husband got very upset at this and said he felt my parents thought that he couldn’t take care of us. I told my dad about how he felt and dad had a little man to man with him. Such blessed memories!!!! Now when my children leave when they come over, they take a care package with them. Today my daughter stopped for a while to pick up my granddaughter and she left with chicken, ground beef, cookies, juice boxes for the girls and a few other things. Just something to send home to help. Thank you for sending that to me. I will drop Jo a note and tell her too how I enjoyed the story. God bless.
Blessings, Mary Masters - Angels2TheHeart
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