Sunday, December 04, 2005

A Precious Gift

At church this morning, I noticed the elderly gentleman behind us as we walked into our pew. He was all alone, yet he didn't appear "lonely", if that makes any sense. When it came time for the congregation to offer each other a sign of peace, his handshake was warm and friendly, and his eyes seemed tender and somewhat misty.

After Communion, as we sat awaiting the final prayers of the Mass, I noticed that my husband was holding onto TP's hand while DQ had her head on my shoulder. We were united in our love for each other and our Lord, and we just felt very close and at peace. I smiled at my girls, knowing that their faith sustained them and had helped them through some difficult times recently. As we stood up for the final blessing, I noticed that the girls were smiling at each other and they briefly held hands.

As were were preparing to leave after the Mass, the gentleman behind us leaned over and touched my girls arms very gently. He had a soft smile on his face as he said, "I just want to let you know that the tenderness you have as a family is very moving to see, and I was very touched by it. It's a wonderful thing to see the love you have for each other, especially between the two sisters. God bless you". I was very moved by his words, and I went to shake his hand, as he continued with saying, "Could you pray for me and my sister? She is in Florida and she's scheduled for a bone marrow transplant. I am on my way today to go down there, and I would like to have a safe trip. I would also like for my sister to return to good health, but she might not make it. . ." His voice trailed off as we assured him of our prayers for his sister's health and his safe travel. I asked him if he was going to be the donor for his sister's transplant, and he indicated that he was. We shook his hand again, and we wished him well so that he would recuperate quickly, too.

I know I had tears in my eyes as I was walking down the aisle to leave church. I was so touched by this gentleman and his words of love to us, and the demonstration of his love for his sister. What struck me the most is that he didn't ask for prayers for his own well being throughout his surgery - rather, he only asked that he be delivered to his destination safely so that he could help out his sister. I thought of what love he and his sister must have for each other - and I couldn't help but think if watching my girls this morning, when they were showing their love to each other and to us, reminded him of when he and his sister were much younger. I wondered if he was remembering Christmases past with her. And I wondered if it even occurred to him what a precious gift he was giving to her this Christmas - and what a precious gift he gave to our family with his kindness and his simple words of love.

May our kind and gentle man have a safe trip. May he be kept safe during his surgery. May his sister benefit from this tremendous donation and gift given by her brother. And may God smile down on them both and bless them abundantly with his graces, and keep them safe in the palm of His hand. Amen.


At 1:53 PM, Blogger Julana said...

Amen. We have this moment to hold in our hands. . . .

At 9:54 PM, Blogger Mrs. Diamond said...

That was so touching. I have tears in my eyes. What a beautiful example your family is. And I will join you in prayers for this gentleman and his sister.

At 9:40 AM, Blogger Tyra said...

My prayer for my children is that they remain close to each other as adults.

May God carry that gentleman in His hands and bless them both with good health and a quick recovery.

At 12:34 PM, Blogger Paula said...

Wiping the tears from my eyes as I post this comment. What a blessing your family was to this sweet man.

Lord, please be with this man and his sister. Please allow the transplant to heal this woman. Bless Val and her family. Place a hedge of protection around them now and always.

In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Thanks for sharing such a tender moment with your readers.

Your Sis In Christ,

At 8:24 PM, Blogger bigwhitehat said...

In moments like that, I just hit my knees, hold his hands and start asking for miracles.

There is a fella in my church for whom I seldom have a moment. He is getting old in a hurry. I found out recently that he was awarded the Medal of Honor.

When Alex asked who he was the other day, I said, "He is a great warrior." Alex thanked him for being so brave. Three weeks later he called me over to tell me I was a good dad.

I'm not worthy of his compliments. But he made me feel unstoppable.

At 8:44 PM, Blogger HeyJules said...

Val, if you're going to make me cry every time I stop in, you're going to have to start buying my kleenex supply.

Seriously, that was worse than a Walton's Christmas episode. I could be "boo hooing" all night.

God bless him indeed. And God bless that family of yours that models such unbelievable grace.

At 9:56 PM, Blogger Shawnda said...

Thank you so much for sharing this precious moment with this man! What a beautiful story of brothers and sisters in Christ!!! And how precious that your family has EVIDENT tenderness toward one another - grace, grace, grace! Praise the LORD!

At 10:02 PM, Blogger Shawnda said...

I wanted to just email you, but I can't find an email address : ). I wanted to say THANKS for visiting my blog and for your encouraging words!!!! : ) Would love to get to know you too! And it has been a blessing to read some of your posts already and get to know your family a little bit! I'm amazed at the grace the LORD provides for every situation He calls us to endure! Press on, sister!!!! And tell you faithful daughter to press on too - she's a trooper!!!

At 12:11 AM, Blogger Ann said...

Thanks for sharing that story with us. I pray that everything will go well with them and that they will have more years to enjoy each other's company.

At 8:21 AM, Blogger Julana said...

Can you send me your email address, at
I want to share something offline.

At 12:58 PM, Blogger Barbara said...

Why do I always do this?

i pop over for a quick visit, usually before I amon my way out or something, I read your post, end off in tears, and tell you I will be back later to answer!!

Well, I am doing it again!!

Speak soon

At 1:10 PM, Blogger My Kid's Mom said...

Just a quick note to Shawnda (and all my other blogging friends) - my new email address is (Thanks, Julana!).

I will write more later to each of you - I have been so touched by all of your comments. But - duties as a mom call me right now!!!

At 8:50 AM, Blogger My Kid's Mom said...

Julana: Thanks for your e-mail - it was wonderful to hear from you!

Mrs. D.: I will let you know (once I hear) how thie gentleman and his sister fare after the bone marrow transplant is done.

Tyra: I know, I pray for the same thing for my children. It scares me to think that they could drift apart after I am gone.

Oh Paula: You know how to write such beautiful prayers. I know they come from your heart!

BWH: I am sure that gentleman saw you as a great dad, as you were teaching your child the lessons of respect and appreciation. So, I agree with him - you ARE a great dad.

Julie: Sending. Kleenex. Now. The extra absorbent kind!! Actually, it seems like lately, I have had so many "moments" in my life which have caused ME to cry - and so, I write about them. God's been working in my life so much lately (or perhaps He always has been, and I just didn't open my eyes up long enough to notice).

Shawnda: I can't wait to hear from you (my new e-mail address is We do share a lot in common, so we'll be a great source of support for each other, I am sure.

Oh Barbara: You are just so sweet! I am looking forward to hearing from you again.

To everybody: I just talked to our parish priest last night about this gentleman, and he said that we should hear from this man in a couple of weeks. So, I'll keep you posted!

At 3:46 PM, Blogger Jeff H said...

Fabulous. That man set a very manly example of sacrifice for the good of another. Strength personified.

At 11:17 AM, Blogger Barbara said...

"May our kind and gentle man have a safe trip. May he be kept safe during his surgery. May his sister benefit from this tremendous donation and gift given by her brother. And may God smile down on them both and bless them abundantly with his graces, and keep them safe in the palm of His hand. Amen"

I echo that Prayer Valerie.... God Bless

And after all you have gone through as well ! I think God has a message there for you too....

At 8:20 PM, Blogger My Kid's Mom said...

Hi Jeff: Yes, that gentleman did set the perfect example of sacrifice for the good of another. His strength and humbleness touched me greatly.

Hi Barbara: (I knew you'd come back!). God always leaves little messages in our interactions with each other, doesn't He?!


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