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                          CHRISTMAS SHOPPING
      I hurried into the local department store to grab some last
minute Christmas gifts. I looked at all the people and grumbled to
myself. I  would be in here forever and I just had so much to do.
Christmas was beginning to become such a drag. I kinda wished
that I could just sleep through Christmas. But I hurried the best I
could through all the people to the toy department. Once again I
kind of mumbled to myself at the prices of all these toys. And
wondered if the grandkids would even play with them. I found
myself in the doll aisle. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a little boy
about 5 holding a lovely doll. He kept touching her hair and he held her
so gently. I could not seem to help myself. I just kept looking over at
the little boy and wondered who the doll was for. >  > I watched him turn
to a woman and he called his aunt by name and said, "Are you sure I don't
have enough money." She replied a bit impatiently, "You know that you
don't have enough money for it." The aunt told the little boy not to go
anywhere that she had to go get some other things and would be back in a
few minutes. And then she left the aisle. The boy continued to hold the
doll. After a bit I  asked the boy who the doll was for. He said, "It is
the doll my sister wanted so badly for Christmas. She just knew that Santa
would bring it." I told him that maybe Santa was going to bring it. He
said >  > "No, Santa can't go where my sister is...I have to give the doll
to my Mamma to take to her." >  > I asked him where his sister was. He
looked at me with the saddest eyes and said "She was gone to be with
Jesus. My Daddy says that Mama is going to have to go be with her." >  >
My heart nearly stopped beating. Then the boy looked at me again and said,
"I told my Daddy to tell Mama not to go yet. I told him to tell  her to
wait till I got back from the store." Then he asked me if I wanted to see
his picture. I told him I would love to. >  > He pulled out some pictures
he'd had taken at the front of the store. He said "I want my Mamma to take
this with her so she don't ever forget me. I Iove my Mama very much and I
wish she did not have to leave me. >  > But Daddy says she will need to be
with my sister." I saw that the little boy had lowered his head and had
grown so very quiet. While he was not looking I reached into my purse and
pulled but a handful of bills. I asked the little boy, "Shall we count
that money one more time? >  > He grew excited and said "Yes, I just know
it has to be enough". So I slipped my money in with his and we began to
count it. Of course it was plenty for the doll. He softly said, "Thank you
Jesus for giving me enough money." Then the boy said "I just asked Jesus
to give me enough money to buy this doll so Mama can take it with her to
give to my sister. And He heard my prayer. I wanted to ask Him for enough
to buy my Mama a white rose, but I didn't ask him, but He gave me enough
to buy the doll and a rose for my Mama. She loves white roses so very,
very much." In a few minutes the aunt came back and I wheeled my cart
away. I could not keep from thinking about the little boy as I finished my
shopping in a totally different spirit than when I had started. And I kept
remembering a story I had seen in the newspaper several days earlier about
a drunk driver hitting a car and killing a little girl and the Mother was
in serious condition. The family was deciding on whether to remove the
life support. Now surely this little boy did not belong with that story.
  Two days later I read in the paper where the family had
disconnected the life support and the young woman had died. I
could not forget the little boy and just kept wondering if the two
were somehow connected. Later that day, I could not help myself
and I went out and bought some white roses and took them to the
funeral home where the young woman was. And there she was,
holding a lovely white rose, the beautiful doll, and the picture of the
little boy in the store. I left there in tears, my life changed forever.
The love that little boy had for his little sister and his mother was
overwhelming. And in a split second a drunk driver had ripped the life of
that little boy to pieces.


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