A Child’s Gift

A Child’s Gift

From Chicken Soup for the Soul Celebrating People Who Make a Difference

A Child’s Gift

It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself.

Eleanor Roosevelt

About a year ago, I was volunteering at a home for elderly women. On this particular day as I prepared to leave for the home, the telephone rang. For a fleeting moment I toyed with the idea of not answering it, but I ran back to the kitchen anyway.

It was my husband. “Sorry, honey, but I have to work overtime. Guess you’ll just have to pick up Taylor after school. I’ll be home as soon as I can.”

Each week I set aside several hours to bring a little joy into the lives of the elderly women. Today I was bringing freshly cut red and yellow snapdragons and mammoth zinnias. As I gathered the bouquets to carry them to the car, I decided that rather than find a babysitter, I would take Taylor with me to visit with the residents.

With my unexpected companion, we started our rounds. After Taylor and I had visited the third or fourth woman, I noticed that just as we were ready to leave each room, my son would hug each woman and whisper something in her ear. Because I wanted to make sure that we had enough time to visit all of the residents, I didn’t stop to ask him what he was whispering; but he elicited a huge smile from every lady.

Later that evening, during dinner, my husband asked how my volunteer job worked out with our son in tow.

“It was actually lots of fun,” I said. “We were quite a pair. Whatever Taylor said to the ladies, it definitely made them happy.” As I stood up to clear the dishes, I stopped and glanced across the table at our son. “What was it that you whispered?”

Looking up at both his dad and me, with his big brown eyes and angelic face, he responded, “I whispered, ‘I love you Grandma. And I just wanted you to know that you look soooooo beautiful today.’”

I asked Taylor why he did that.

He responded, “I just knew it would make them feel good.”

Pamela Strome-Merewether

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