Saturday, December 15, 2007

A requested tale - from Christmas 2006

My LD ( ) remembered this story from last year and said I should post it... so, as the wonderful daddy that I am, for your reading pleasure:
The Salvation Army Story – Christmas 2006

This Christmas I decided to do something that I have never done before – be a bell ringer for the Salvation Army Red Kettle Brigade. I caught up with the coordinator and got assigned to stand in front of the Wal-Mart store on Old Fort Parkway, on December 22…at the Grocery end, but of course.

Once there, I was just a ringing away and observing all of the people who came by. Old ones, young ones, tall ones, short ones, skinny ones and yes, fat ones, too. It was truly an amazing site to see people who looked as if they needed to keep all the money they could ever get their hands on, drop a dollar in the kettle. Right then and there, I determined to never pass a SA Kettle without putting something into it.

Anyway, about an hour into the shift, I noticed a blonde-headed lady come into the store..and in a little while, she headed out into the parking lot again. Well, in just a couple of minutes, she came back toward the store and was looking all frantic and talking fast on her cell phone. She went into the store and came right back out again. Naturally, her actions had perked up my 'ex-cop antenna', so I watched a bit closer..

She saw me looking her way and came over to me. She said; “Excuse me sir, did you see a little old lady about this tall, wearing a long lavender coat and breathing heavy come into the store?”. For some reason, I immediately pictured a maroon colored coat and I told her “No, I don’t think I did.” She said; “She’s my grandmother and she has bad dementia and we left her in the car to run into the store and when we got back, she was gone. She’s wandering around by herself and I don’t know where she is, I can’t find her”. The lady was very frantic and worried. I told her I would keep an eye out for her granny. So she went back into the store.

Well, as I’m standing there, I threw up a couple of prayers for the safety of her granny and I start thinking about what she said. Then I realized what a geek I was. Lavender is NOT’s a light purplish/pinkish type color. So, I started looking out over the HUGE parking lot…up one aisle, and up the other… and waaay in the back, I see a white-haired lady in a long pinkish coat and she is among 4 or 5 people…then as I keep watching, those people pass by her and she is left standing in the middle of the aisle all by herself.

As soon as I saw what I thought I saw, I hastened back toward the store and the blond-headed lady was coming out - I waved to her and she said “Oh, you found her??” I said, “I’m not sure, but look over those cars and up that aisle, it could be her.” When she saw the white-haired lady, she took off running up the aisle and wrapped her arms around her when she got there.

Needless to say, I was pleased and thanked God for her safe return, and my small part in it.

A short time later, the blonde-haired lady drove up in a Suburban, with the grey-haired lady in the passenger seat, and she thanked me so much… She was happy too.

Bell ringing for the Salvation Army will be part of my Christmas gift to the community from now on.

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